The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office was recently awarded $43,600 in federal funding. The grant, made available through the Governor s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), will help fund the department’s participation in the statewide H.E.A.T. initiative.
H.E.A.T., which stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, is a multi-jurisdictional effort aimed at reducing the number of impaired driving crashes in Georgia, enforcing laws targeting aggressive drivers, increasing the safety belt usage rate and educating the public about traffic safety.
The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office has participated in the H.E.A.T. initiative for the past four years.
Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said the grant will subsidize operations of the department’s two H.E.A.T. officers.
The grant money will be allocated between personnel ($32,000), operating expenses ($9,700), travel and training ($1,200) and telecommunications ($700).
“It just helps us to enforce traffic a little more and it’s money we appreciate having,” Smith said.
H.E.A.T. programs based on impaired driving and speeding data are in place in 22 Georgia counties and cover most of Metro Atlanta. The H.E.A.T. initiative was designed to serve Georgia jurisdictions with the highest rates of crashes, injuries and deaths.
The 2008/2009 GOHS H.E.A.T. grants totaled $3.3 million and funded 27 specialized traffic enforcement units in strategic high-risk locations across the state.
“The H.E.A.T. project aims to increase the impaired driver apprehension rate, reduce speeders, educate the public about DUI laws and provide a higher traffic enforcement profile in the community,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas.