Savannah Police awarded grant to continue HEAT program

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Police Department’s Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic program, or HEAT Unit, will continue for another year.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) awarded the department $178,828 to continue.

The HEAT grant was originally awarded to SPD in 2016.

According to the SPD, the HEAT Unit had nearly 4,710 enforcement contacts, 318 of which were DUI arrests during the 2019-20 year. 

Savannah Police say as a result, the department saw a 20 percent decrease in overall crashes and an 11 percent decrease in fatal crashes from the previous grant year.

SPD also saw a 1 percent increase in seat belt usage.

“After four years it is clear that our HEAT Unit has had an effect and is continuing to have an effect on reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities in Savannah,” Chief Roy Minter stated.

The 2021 grant award will continue through September 2021 and helps fund three traffic officer positions, regular operating expenses, telecommunications and travel within the traffic unit.

Of the more than $170,000 in grant funds, $71,531 of those are federal funds provided with GOHS.

The HEAT Unit participates in traffic safety campaigns, such as Click-It or Ticket, Operation Zero Tolerance, 100 Days of Summer Heat and Rolling Thunder Mobilizations throughout Georgia. The unit also participates in traffic safety education programs throughout the city.

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