State Patrol named best in nation

This fall, Governor Nathan Deal congratulated the Georgia State Patrol for being named the top state police/ highway patrol agency in the country in the category of 501 to 1,000 sworn officers.

“I extend my most sincere congratulations to Col. Mark McDonough, his predecessor Col. Bill Hitchens and the Georgia State Patrol on this national honor,” Deal said. “I have the great privilege of serving with GSP officers every day and I cannot thank them enough for their loyal and tireless commitment to our state.”

The award was a part of the National Law Enforcement Challenge, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The award was accepted in Chicago by the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), Col. Mark McDonough.

“The IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge is a prestigious awards program that recognizes the best of the best,” McDonough said. “To be included in the awards recognition is an honor and speaks highly to the dedication of the men and women of the Georgia State Patrol.”

The National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) recognizes and awards the best overall traffic safety programs. The NLEC focuses on agencies’ efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding. The most effective and noteworthy safety programs combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdiction.

On a state level, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety administers the Georgia Governor’s Challenge, which follows the criteria of the national competition.  In the state competition, individual troopers of the Georgia State Patrol compete for honors, but the entire agency is judged for the national award.

Pictured from left: Lt. Col. Russell Powell, DPS Deputy Commissioner; Maj. Eddie Grier, GSP Commanding Officer; and Col. Mark McDonough, DPS Commissioner.

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