FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office was awarded a major public safety partnership grant from the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) in Atlanta.
The $69,800 HEAT grant will be used to develop and implement strategies to reduce local highway crashes, injuries and fatalities.
"The HEAT 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," said outgoing Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton.
H.E.A.T stands for highway enforcement of aggressive traffic. The statewide HEAT project goal is to combat deaths and injuries from impaired driving crashes and excessive speeding by increasing the use of safety belts while educating the public about traffic safety and the dangers of DUI.
"Agencies like the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office that have received this 2013 GOHS HEAT grant are committed members of the GOHS Traffic Enforcement Network, dedicated to protecting our citizens from drunk drivers. Impaired driving is no accident, and DUI is no victimless Crime," said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood.
Forsyth County law enforcement partners in the Operation Zero Tolerance DUI initiatives and the Click It or Ticket seatbelt campaign mobilizations. The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office HEAT team will coordinate with GOHS during year-round waves of high visibility concentrated patrols, multi-jurisdictional road checks and sobriety checkpoints.
Many HEAT units area also deployed as part of a joint highway safety response team called Rolling Thunder, deployed to help reduce high numbers of traffic deaths in other high-risk Georgia communities.
"Georgia's HEAT units and Operation Rolling Thunder consistently save lives on our highways," said Blackwood. "We know from experience that HEAT teams like the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office are an effective way to maximize our deterrent efforts with impaired drivers."