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Barrow traffic unit earns state's top nod

WINDER -- The Barrow County Sheriff's Office traffic enforcement unit earned top honors statewide for its safety efforts earlier this month, officials said.

The traffic enforcement unit completes a Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety Challenge Application yearly, which involves a yearlong process of compiling data and statistics of the Sheriff's Office activities. This application also involves comparing statistics and data to previous years to determine increases or declines in activity, officials said.

The unit was notified of its top placement at an Oct. 1 banquet.

"I'm proud of the work the traffic enforcement unit puts into this application process," said Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith in a release. "The Sheriff's Office works diligently to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities within our county."

All Georgia law enforcement agencies are eligible to complete an application and enter it in the Governor's Office competition.

The categories are ranked based on agency size, and then first-, second- and third-place winners are determined by judges. Along with placing first in its category, the Sheriff's Office won the speed awareness award, which is part of a special award category, officials said.

This marks the third year in a row the Sheriff's Office has placed in this competition. Members will travel to Orlando to be recognized and accept their award, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ryan Sears.