July 5, 2006 Valdosta -- The Governor's Highway Safety program works to keep the roads safe, while lowering car accident injuries and fatalities. To do so, it offers thousand of dollars to law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Georgia.
Many South Georgia police departments benefit from this state program. The funds allow them to buy equipment, create new positions, and save more lives.
Over the past two years, the Valdosta Police Department has received thirty thousand dollars from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Half the money goes to the department, while the other half allows police to buy new and needed equipment.
Valdosta Police Captain Brian Childress said, "In our dealings with the GOHS has been a great benefit to us. It's given us a lot of equipment, we've established a lot of contacts so I have nothing but great things to say about it."
The Police Department in Hahira won the most recent grant. The $5,000 incentive grant was awarded to them for their outstanding performance and participation in traffic enforcement and safety campaigns. The Hahira Police Department has won this grant several times and used this year's money to replace a much need piece of equipment.
Hahira Police Chief Terry Davis says, "We got the intoxilizer from the GOHS. Ours was getting old. It was 10 years old, and it's a $5,000 piece of equipment, and it's definitely something we needed."
The Valdosta Police Department recently applied for a $200,000 grant that will create a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic Program or H.E.A.T in Valdosta. "That will provide three fully equipment police cars for the department and provide funding for us to provide two officers," said Childress.
The H.E.A.T officers would be responsible for traffic enforcement in the city. If chosen, the police department will implement this program in October.
The Hahira Police Department will be attending the Governor's Challenge in Atlanta this August. If their department is honored for their participation in safety programs, they will receive a new state of the art police car for their fleet.