The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office traffic unit has been awarded second place in a national competition for their efforts to protect motorists and keep area roadways safe.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) nominated BCSO for the award. The outstanding service award, presented by the International Association of Chiefs, recognizes the department’s work to increase traffic safety by enforcing laws relating to occupant safety, impaired driving and speeding.
Sgt. Ryan Spears, head of the BCSO traffic unit, said while those three items are a priority, traffic enforcement in Barrow County includes much more.
“Being a part of a traffic enforcement unit does not simply mean that we go out and write tickets all day long,” Sears said. “A huge portion of our responsibilities is to educate the young people in our community – those who are about to start driving.”
As part of their efforts to educate young drivers, the traffic unit is involved in teaching a teenage new driver program at Winder-Barrow and Apalachee High Schools.
The Sheriff’s Office along with Probate Judge Tammy Brown teach the program to ninth grade students at both schools.
“As part of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention program, we also teach a course to high school juniors and seniors which involves a more in-depth look at traffic laws,” Sears said.
Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith accompanied the traffic unit to Denver, Colorado to accept the award.
“I'm very proud of our entire Traffic Unit for the difficult and dangerous jobs they perform,” said Sheriff Smith. “They are out there to keep all of us safe and I believe the citizens of Barrow County are fortunate that we have them.”