DPD takes first place honors in Governor's Challenge

Sgt. Woody Cantrell, left, and Officer David Saylors show off the awards they brought home as members of the Dalton Police Department's Traffic Unit after winning the annual Governor's Challenge.

For the second year in a row, the Dalton Police Department is celebrating a win in the annual Governor's Challenge.

The annual competition sponsored by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety honors outstanding achievement in traffic safety education and enforcement. Dalton's win comes in Category 4 which includes municipal police departments with between 51 and 100 sworn officers.

Competing agencies are judged each year for enforcement programs, educational initiatives and public information efforts in three categories: occupant safety, speed enforcement and DUI detection/prevention. In the past year, Dalton's Traffic Enforcement Unit has engaged in several education campaigns in Dalton's schools to inform students about distracted driving and driving under the influence. The unit took part in the Teen Maze event that educates young drivers about the impact of dangerous driving behaviors and choices like drinking and driving.

While the unit is focused on traffic issues, the efforts of the department's patrol division as a whole contributed to the different education and enforcement initiatives and their efforts are recognized by this award. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety also considers the work that police agencies do with their local public works departments to try to improve roads or intersections that are especially prone to crashes.

This was the Dalton Police Department's 19th year taking part in the Governor's Challenge and the agency's third win. The DPD previously took top honors in 2017-18 and 2013-14 in addition to earning multiple second- and third-place finishes over the years.

The Habersham County Sheriff's Office placed second behind Dalton followed by the Crisp County Sheriff's Office in third.

In addition to the overall award, the Dalton Police Department earned the Governor's Challenge Speed Award, for having the state's outstanding speed education and enforcement campaign.

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