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County police get grant for traffic units

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Police Department has been awarded a grant of $81,600 for highway safety.

The grant comes from the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety as part of the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic partnership program. The money funds specialized units focusing on reducing impaired driving crashes, reducing excessive speeding, and increasing seal belt usage, and education.

"This HEAT grant expresses our thanks for joining the GOHS enforcement team and for the dedication and support of the Clayton County Police Department for their efforts to protect Georgians from speeders and impaired drivers," said Bob Dallas, GOHS director.

The HEAT grant program backs 27 specialized units across the state, with $3.3 million for the 2008/2009 fiscal year. The state-funded units are in 22 counties and in agencies across metro Atlanta, including the City of Morrow, College Park, and Henry County.

"This combined enforcement effort by police, sheriffs and state troopers is the kind of high visibility protection the public deserves," Dallas said.

The combined effort, the branding and the publicity is meant to act as a deterrent. In Georgia, in 2007, there were 1,648 traffic fatalities. About 441 of those were attributed to impaired driving.

"We know from experience," Dallas said. "Heat teams like the Clayton County Police Department are effective ways to maximize our deterrent efforts."