The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is one of 21 agencies in the state to receive a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, or HEAT, grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
According to a report from the state, the sheriff’s office will use the $67,800 grant to develop strategies for reducing local highway crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Sheriff Ted Paxton said the project “aims to increase the impaired driver apprehension rate.”
“HEAT units like ours help accomplish that goal through the systematic delivery of effective DUI and aggressive driving countermeasures and by providing a higher traffic enforcement profile in the community,” Paxton said.
The 2011 grants, which total $3.2 million, will help pay for special traffic enforcement units in 19 high-risk counties statewide.
This year the grants will go to 12 police departments, eight sheriff’s offices and the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
“Agencies like the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office that have received this HEAT grant are committed members of the GOHS Traffic Enforcement Network, dedicated to protecting our citizens from drunk drivers,” said Bob Dallas, director of the highway safety office.
Dallas noted that in 2009, 331 people were killed in impaired driving-related wrecks in Georgia.
“Impaired driving is no accident and DUI is no victimless crime,” Dallas said.
As a partner in the Operation Zero Tolerance DUI initiatives and the Click It or Ticket seat belt campaigns, the local HEAT team will coordinate with the highway safety office during year-round waves of concentrated patrols, road checks and sobriety
HEAT units also participate in Operation Rolling Thunder, which is used to help lower traffic deaths in other high-risk Georgia communities.