Ocean Gate Police Officer Jason Marles spent his last hours alive getting drunk drivers off the road. On Thanksgiving Day 2010, after working a drunk driving enforcement detail, Officer Marles was killed after being struck by a drunk driver while driving home on the Garden State Parkway.
On Thursday, July 10, 2014, a jury found Erick P. Uzcategui guilty of vehicular homicide in the 32-year-old police officer's death. Each year, the Ocean County Police Traffic Safety Officer's Association honors the memory of Officer Marles by awarding one police officer from Ocean County with the Jay Marles Award. This award recognizes officers who go above and beyond in their commitment to getting drunk drivers off our roads.
On October 7, 1998, Kimberly Smith-Ames was killed at the age of 23 by an extremely reckless intoxicated driver in Beachwood. The tragic accident not only claimed her life, but also the life of her unborn child. The award was created by Edward and Carol Smith in memory of their daughter Kimberly to honor the hard work and determination of an Ocean County police officer who has demonstrated a strong commitment toward the effort to stop drunk driving.