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Sheriffs department nabs national awards
Honored for traffic safety, work with young drivers
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Forsyth County News
For the third time in six years, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has captured national honors for its efforts in promoting traffic safety.

The award was presented to Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton and Lt. Jody Chapman at the recent 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Denver.

The agency earned first place in its size category of the IACP Law Enforcement Challenge Program. The sheriff’s office previously placed first in 2004 and 2006.  

Sponsored by the IACP, the Law Enforcement Challenge Program recognizes and rewards the best overall traffic safety program in the United States.

The winning safety programs are those that combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within its jurisdiction.

In addition, the local sheriff’s office was awarded the IACP “Underage Alcohol Prevention” Specialty Award.

The award recognizes an agency for efforts in addressing and reducing the problems of underage drinking and underage drinking and driving.

Paxton said the awards are a testament to the work and dedication of all department’s employees.

“It’s such an honor that your peers are willing and able to recognize the contributions the people in the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office have made and the hard work they’ve done and the success they’ve had,” he said.

Paxton said the challenge award is given as a result of enforcement and education efforts, noting that the county’s rate of fatal crashes has dropped significantly in recent years.

Chapman, who is assistant commander of the department’s special operations division, said school resource officers teach alcohol and drug awareness programs on local campuses.

In addition, the agency offers the Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver Error, or PRIDE, program.

The two-hour course provides parents and their young future drivers information on teen driving and statistics, crash dynamics, the graduated driver’s licensing process and the Georgia Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act.

“All that combined with [Sheriff’s Office Aggressive Response] teams, safety checkpoints ... I think it’s pretty impressive,” he said.