Sheriff’s Office earns first in Law Enforcement Challenge

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 30 earned a first place statewide award in the Governor’s Highway Safety Office Law Enforcement Challenge competition.

The Law Enforcement Challenge is a competition designed to recognize and reward the best overall traffic safety programs across the state and the country as judged by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Similar sizes and types of agencies were judged on local efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding. The winning safety programs combined officer training, public information, and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdictions.

In addition to receiving the state honors, the Sheriff’s Office was awarded $5,000 worth of equipment, including an in-car digital camera system.

This is the third year in a row that the Sheriff’s Office has placed. In 2007, the sheriff’s office placed third in the state in their division. In 2006, the sheriff’s office placed first in the state, as well as third on the national level.

With the implementation of the Traffic Safety Unit in October of 2002, traffic enforcement and statistics have improved drastically since the highly visible black traffic safety units were introduced. Speeding citations, DUI arrests, and child restraint and seatbelt citations, continue to prove effective every year. In addition, accidents and fatalities on the section of U.S. Highway 129, known as “The Dragon”, have declined with the increased presence of deputies on this stretch of roadway.

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