Friday, October 29, 2021
Robert Hydrick
Communications Director
(404) 463-1751 (o) | (404) 859-0141 (c)

Governor's Challenge Awards Celebrate 22nd Anniversary As Law Enforcement Honored
Departments large and small recognized for contributions to highway safety

(MACON) The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety today honored 31 different Georgia law enforcement agencies for their year-round work to save lives and reduce traffic crashes on our roads during the 22nd annual Governor’s Challenge Awards held at the Macon Centreplex.

An annual recognition program for statewide law enforcement agencies of all sizes, the program featured awards in eight different categories based on department size, as well as Campus and University Police, Military Police, Traffic Enforcement Network of the Year, Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator of the Year, HEAT Team of the Year and several specialty program area awards.

The Governor's Cup grand prize, given to the top performing department among all categories, was this year presented to the Dalton Police Department. Dalton garnered a score of 200 out of 225 points to win the coveted Governor’s Cup, with judging done by highway safety experts in Tennessee and South Carolina.

The Governor's Challenge program honors law enforcement agencies for their work to prevent crashes, injuries and deaths in their communities, college campuses and military installations. Designed to award outstanding achievements in highway safety enforcement and education, the awards recognize agencies for the approach and effectiveness of their overall highway safety programs. Agencies are evaluated not just for enforcement initiatives, but for unique problem-solving in their communities, using public information activities, and creating departmental policies that support their traffic enforcement campaign efforts.

"Presenting these awards is a highlight of our year because it reaffirms to these departments that they are making an impact in their communities when it comes to saving lives on our roads," Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. "We're honored every year to return to this program and let these officers, deputies and troopers share the spotlight for helping keep Georgia's roads safe."

Another highlight of the awards program was the always-anticipated awarding of this year's Governor's Challenge vehicle, a fully-equipped 2020 Ford F-150 Responder. To award the vehicle, 10 agency names are drawn out of a pool that includes any agency that won an award. Those agencies each choose a key and whoever has the key that illuminates a special law enforcement light bar wins. This year's vehicle was won by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. A highlight video of the win can be viewed at

"Georgia has law enforcement agencies large and small in all corners of the state and that's what's great about Governor's Challenge." GOHS Law Enforcement Services Director Roger Hayes said. "These awards recognize the efforts of all agencies, no matter their size, on working towards the ultimate goal of zero traffic deaths on our roads. That is a goal we will never stop reaching for and we do that by encouraging departments that urge their citizens to buckle up, slow down, drive sober and never drive distracted."

The full list of this year's Governor's Challenge winners is as follows:
Category 1: 1-10 Officers  
Demorest Police Department 1st Place
Boston Police Department 2nd Place
Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Category 2: 11-25 Officers  
Washington County Sheriff’s Office 1st Place
Sandersville Police Department 2nd Place
Adairsville Police Department 3rd Place
Category 3: 26-45 Officers  
Calhoun Police Department 1st Place
Perry Police Department 2nd Place
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Category 4: 46-75 Officers  
Snellville Police Department 1st Place
Habersham County Sheriff’s Office 2nd Place
Crisp County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Category 5: 76-100  
Dalton Police Department 1st Place
Smyrna Police Department 2nd Place
Effingham County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Category 6: 101-200  
Gainesville Police Department 1st Place
Warner Robins Police Department 2nd Place
Valdosta Police Department 3rd Place
Category 7: 201-500  
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office 1st Place
Hall County Sheriff’s Office 2nd Place
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Category 8:  501+  
Cobb County Police Department 1st Place
Dekalb County Police Department 2nd Place
Atlanta Police Department 3rd Place
Category 9: Campus and University Police  
University of North Georgia 1st Place
University of West Georgia 2nd Place
Category 10: Military Police  
Fort Benning Police 1st Place
Category 11: Traffic Enforcement Network  
North East Traffic Enforcement Network 1st Place
Middle Georgia Traffic Enforcement Network 2nd Place
Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network 3rd Place
Coordinator of the Year Sgt. Christy Nicholson
(Calhoun Police Department)
Mountain Area Traffic Enforcement Network
Asst Coordinator of Year Lt. Victor Tyson
(Pooler Police Department)
Southeastern Traffic Enforcement Network
HEAT Team of the Year  
Habersham County Sheriff’s Office 1st Place
GSP Nighthawks South 2nd Place
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office 3rd Place
Gainesville Police Department Impaired Driving
Jefferson Police Department Speed Awareness
Calhoun Police Department Occupant Protection
Crisp County Sheriff’s Office Distracted Driving
Dublin Police Department Rookie of the Year
Snellville Police Department Child Passenger Safety
Woodstock Police Department Bike/Pedestrian Safety
Dublin Police Department Teen/Young Driver Safety
Warner Robins Police Department Motorcycle Safety
Dalton Police Department (200 Points) Governor’s Cup

For more information on the Governor's Challenge program, visit
Copyright © 2021 GOHS, All rights reserved.

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