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Posted: May 7, 2009 6:45 p.m.

NCSO staff attend advanced training to reduce traffic deaths

Traffic crashes are a leading cause of injury death in Georgia and present a major public health problem. The tragic loss of life to traffic crashes not only devastates families both emotionally and financially, but also imposes far-reaching societal cost to employees and government agencies as well as public and private insurers.

Highway safety is a major concern for our sheriffs' offices. The sheriffs of Georgia are committed to continuing and enhancing their collective effort at reducing these injuries and tragic deaths. In the past, limited funds were a barrier in providing specialized highway safety enforcement training for sheriffs and their command staff statewide, until the Governor's Office of Highway Safety stepped up and partnered with the Georgia Sheriff's Association to provide advanced and specialized training for deputy sheriffs.

Through a Governor's Office of Highway Safety grant, the Georgia Sheriffs' Association offered three days of intensive training at Stone Mountain on April 22-24 for upper-level command staff or sheriffs' offices from throughout the state. More than 150 officers - including sheriffs, chief deputies, and top-level command officers - participated in the training conference.

Newton County Captain Sammy Banks attended and received valuable training and information emphasizing highway safety and leadership training. In turn, through their leadership, they share this information with their staff and the public, enhancing the collective effort at reducing injuries and tragic deaths.

"The Command Staff Training Conference offers an opportunity for the leadership within sheriffs' offices to obtain quality training on highway safety and leadership issues, remain up to date with current trends in Georgia, and develop partnering relationships statewide," stated Tonia Welch, training director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association Inc.

"I appreciate the opportunity to meet with the sheriffs' command staff to discuss the importance of traffic enforcement in saving lives. The traffic enforcement safety tools learned at this seminar can save lives when deployed fairly and consistently. Equally important is the voting public now understands the need for traffic enforcement as they demand that our roads must be made safer," said Bob Dallas, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The Georgia Sheriff's Association Inc. is a professional organization that represents Georgia's 159 elected sheriffs. The association relies on the support of more than 70,000 Honorary members throughout the state who recognize and value the services that the Association offers to statewide law enforcement initiatives; GSA also sponsors the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes, Inc. which provides full-time residential care for Georgia's abused, abandoned and neglected children.


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