By Maj. Matt Boyd
Powder Springs Police Department
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety, in cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies, organized regional traffic enforcement networks around the Georgia.
There are 16 regional traffic enforcement networks servicing all 159 counties. The regional networks are open to all sworn law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and are designed to enhance traffic enforcement activities through networking, training and legislation.
The networks serve as a catalyst for traffic enforcement officers to voice their concerns and share ideas with their counterparts from other agencies in their region.
Guest speakers and panelists have included state and municipal court judges, prosecutors, legislators, MADD representatives, public service commissioners and ALS judges.
Anyone that drove by the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs on Thursday, Sept. 13 may have thought a major crisis situation was evolving in Powder Springs because of the amount of police vehicles in the parking lot.
In reality, the Powder Springs Police Department hosted the September monthly meeting of the Metro Atlanta Traffic Enforcement Network (MATEN). This meeting also included the Western Regional Traffic Enforcement Network (WRTEN), which was the very first time the two regions held a combined meeting.
Approximately 165 police officers, state troopers and sheriff’s deputies from the metro Atlanta area and western area of Georgia descended on Powder Springs. Attending agencies traveled from areas such as Cobb, Henry, Fulton, Clayton Fayette, DeKalb, Douglas, Paulding and Haralson counties.
There were several sponsoring vendors on hand to display their products and to assist in off-setting the cost of food. Vendors included Laser Technologies, Inc. dealing in speed detection devices, Head Down Products that deal in AR-15 rifles and accessories, and the Governors Gun Club, which is a future business under construction in Powder Springs that will offer an indoor shooting range and a variety of options to the gun owners and gun lovers.
The law enforcement professionals were provided with a meal catered by the Chic-fil-A restaurant location from 2005 Macland Crossing Circle in Marietta. Matt Crowell, Solicitor General of Douglas County, was the guest speaker and gave a very enjoyable and interesting presentation.
Several members of the Powder Springs Police Explorer Post #145 were present to assist with serving food and clean up. The meeting concluded with a raffle of items provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and items provided by the vendors on hand.
The meeting was a huge success for the Powder Springs Police Department, and there were a lot of people that collaborated to make the meeting so successful.
Once the meeting was over, more than 100 officers, troopers and deputies split into one of three different safety checkpoints conducted in the Cobb and Paulding County area, dubbed as “Thursday Night Lights”.
Powder Springs Police hosted a checkpoint directly in front of the police station on Richard D. Sailors Parkway and was joined by personnel from Georgia State Patrol, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville Police Department, Peachtree City Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, Union City Police Department and Jonesboro Police Department.
The checkpoint was held to check for driver’s license status and impaired drivers, and it led to the discovery of numerous traffic violators. Powder Springs Police officers concluded the checkpoint with a total of 15 traffic citations issued and five persons being placed under arrest.
There were two felony drug arrests made, and one person that was a wanted fugitive.
The Powder Springs Police Department thrives to participate every month in meetings such as these to gather information and knowledge that can be used in Powder Springs to make our roadways safer and provide visible enforcement to promote voluntary compliance with Georgia traffic laws.