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TIFTON — Officer Christopher Velho of the Tift County Sheriff’s Office completed a speed detection operator course taught by the Georgia Police Academy Division of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

Speed consistently ranks as one of the top five contributing factors resulting in serious injury and fatality incidents, state officials said in a statement.

The number of speed-related fatalities increased by 46%, from 260 in 2019 to 380 in 2020. The proportion speed-related fatalities increased from 17% in 2019 to 23% in 2020.

The course will "improve the effectiveness of speed enforcement initiatives through the proper and efficient use of police traffic LIDAR and radar speed measurement instruments," state officials said. "Training and proactive enforcement will enable law enforcement to have an impact on reducing these speed related incidents and ultimately save lives."

Funding for the program has been provided by the State of Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

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