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State officials praise sheriff's office
Agency honored for recent awards
District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton, left, presents Sheriff Ted Paxton with a copy of a state resolution recognizing the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. - photo by Jim Dean

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has earned the top honor in an international law enforcement competition.

Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, commended the agency Tuesday for winning first place in the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge Program.

The sheriff’s office received the award last month during a conference in Chicago.

In September, the agency was awarded first place in its size category in the overall Governor’s Challenge program and was given a special category award for motorcycle safety in the state.

During a ceremony Tuesday in Cumming, Blackwood noted that the sheriff’s office faced competitors from as far away as Brazil in the international contest.

“That speaks volumes about your traffic unit and we commend you for what your officers, the men and women of this agency, are doing,” said Blackwood, adding that with fast growth comes traffic problems.

“We are seeing that, despite the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads, your officers are doing more and more to make sure those people are as safe as they can be.”

Sheriff Ted Paxton said he was humbled to accept the honors and recognition of the work done by members of the agency.

“They’re the ones that get out there and actually get it done,” he said. “It’s their commitment that makes us be able to receive these types of recognition of all the programs that they do.

“I cannot commend them enough. It’s quite an honor to be associated with them.”

District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton of Cumming presented Paxton with a resolution signed by the state House of Representatives commending the agency for its accomplishment.

Hamilton noted the importance of ensuring public safety on roads.

“It’s great to represent an area that has a law enforcement body that takes that type of thing so seriously and does such a great job,” Hamilton said.

The sheriff’s office has won the IACP award in 2004, 2006 and 2009.

Areas of concentration include efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding.

The programs honored are those that combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdictions.