The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office took home several awards from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
On Nov. 9, awards were presented to the highest-performing officers in the Western Region Traffic Enforcement Network.
Coweta took three of the five total awards given at the event.
One year after its inception, Coweta County’s Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic team won Law Enforcement Agency of the Year.
Deputy Nickota Wheat won Occupant Safety Officer of the Year and Deputy Shawn Searels won Officer of the Year.
The occupant safety award is a combination of enforcement efforts and education. The HEAT group regularly does presentations to high school drivers education programs to speak about the dangers of DUI, speeding and distracted driving, as well as to emphasize the importance of wearing seatbelts.
HEAT officers are also certified child safety seat technicians who assist drivers in making sure any young children are properly restrained.
HEAT is a grant program offered through the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety designed to combat aggressive traffic across Georgia.
The HEAT unit’s four primary goals are to reduce injury and fatality crashes; increase overall child restraint usage through community education; increase focus on DUI enforcement through road checkpoints; and increase overall seat belt usage.
The grant allowed the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office to purchase three new, fully outfitted patrol cars, three LIDAR speed measuring units and three new portable breath test units at no cost to Coweta residents.
Sgt. Ty Thompson, who oversees the HEAT unit, said he’s incredibly proud of the team and its recognition.
“I can’t say enough about their hard work and dedication,” Thompson said. “And they look very good in green.”
The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office hosted the event, and local businesses provided items for door prizes. The event was catered by McMasters BBQ.