Savannah Police Department Receives State Grant for HEAT Unit
SAVANNAH, GA. – October 18, 2018 (wtoc.com) The Savannah Police Department recently received a state grant of more than $100,000, according to an online news report from wtoc.com. The department plans to use the money for its Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) unit.*
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded the grant to the Savannah Police Department. The HEAT unit will benefit from the money in its effort to crack down on aggressive driving in the city. The unit not only patrols for aggressive driving, it also issues citations to drivers who are violating Georgia’s Hands-Free law and drivers who are not wearing seat belts.
“It’s a culmination of speeding, accidents, and other things they have to focus on,” Lt. Torrance Garvin said of the HEAT unit. “Seat belt compliance – adults and children. These are the things we are looking for, and if you are caught, you will go to jail.”
Since the beginning of 2018, officers with the HEAT unit have issued more than 4,000 citations to drivers in Savannah. Almost 300 of those citations involved driving under the influence stops that led to arrests. The number of DUI crashes has declined in Savannah since the HEAT unit’s inception, Garvin said, so officers hope the grant helps them continue that trend. The unit plans to add two more officers and a sergeant officer.
“[The grant] also offsets some of the financial burdens that may have occurred through the budget process itself,” Garvin said.
Savannah is located in Chatham County, where, according to data from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, a large number of traffic accidents occur each year. In 2016, 15,806 vehicle accidents occurred in the county, resulting in 3,760 injuries and 43 deaths.
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