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Barrow Sheriff's Office earns $43K grant

WINDER -- The Barrow County Sheriff's Office joined a handful of Georgia agencies recently as recipients of grant money meant to increase safety on area roadways.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety awarded the Barrow department $43,000 as part of the H.E.A.T. -- Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic -- program.

A special H.E.A.T. unit in Barrow will develop and implement strategies to reduces traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities, officials said.

Primary points of focus will be speeding and impaired drivers, as well as those who neglect to wear seat belts, said GOHS director Bob Dallas.

Statewide, the latest round of H.E.A.T. grants total more than $3 million and will fund 21 specialized traffic units, Dallas said.

The program is designed to serve Georgia jurisdictions with the highest rates of crashes, injuries and deaths. Impaired driving-related crashed killed 416 people in Georgia in 2008. Nearly 1,500 fatalities in 2007 were related to vehicle crashes, Dallas said.

The Winder-based agency joined 10 other departments across Georgia in receiving grant monies. City departments in Atlanta and Duluth, as well as DeKalb County police, were also named as recipients.