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Left to right at the Haralson Mill covered wooden bridge are Rockdale County deputies C. Lickliter, L. Tate, and Sgt. D. Peek, all members of the HEAT Unit, MADD State Advisory Board member Arthur Mitchell, Sheriff Eric Levett, MADD State Advisory Board member Natasha Mitchell, Capt. E. Strozier, and Deouty B. Banks, also a member of the HEAT Unit.

CONYERS — Rockdale County and the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office are pleased to announce they have received a $304,545.00 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The grant will help finance man-hours for three specialized HEAT (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) Unit deputies, three traffic enforcement vehicles, and other traffic enforcement equipment to include radar lasers, intoximeters, in-car cameras, etc.

“The loss of one life on our roads is one too many, and the fact almost all fatal traffic crashes can be prevented is one reason why we are awarding this grant,” Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “The target of zero traffic deaths in our nation is achievable, and we will continue to help develop and implement educational messages, enforcement campaigns, and other safety initiatives aimed at bringing us one step closer to our goal.”

The mission of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office HEAT Unit is to reduce crashes, fatalities, aggressive and impaired driving, and serious injuries through enhanced traffic enforcement initiatives. RCSO will use best practices, traffic data, and analytics to: develop enforcement strategies and pinpoint hotspot areas; enhance traffic safety efforts; coordinate and participate in multijurisdictional enforcement activities; and facilitate and participate in traffic safety educational campaigns.

“I am grateful in receiving the additional resource in our continuous fight in reducing serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” said Sheriff Eric Levett. “RCSO has partnered with organizations such as MADD and the GA State Patrol in addressing traffic enforcement in our community. Our deputies are diligent in pursuing drivers that have caused so much heartache to families in our community in Rockdale County.”

The grant year for this award will be October 1 of 2019 to September 30 of 2020.

For more information on this grant program, contact GOHS at 404-656-6996 and for more information on GOHS and its other highway safety programs, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.