(Cleveland)- The Cleveland Police Department is dedicated to reducing the number of crashes and number of injuries resulting in those crashes.

As a result of their efforts, the Cleveland Police Department has been recognized by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety with first place in the Annual Governor’s Challenge for law enforcement agencies with 11-25 officers.

The program looks at what different agencies are doing to promote traffic safety for a three-year period.

Cleveland Police Chief Jeff Shoemaker said through his department’s efforts they have seen a reduction in injuries from auto accidents with 42 injuries in 2020, 18 in 2021, and only 13 injuries from 157 accidents in 2022.  In addition, Chef Shoemaker said they have recorded a 16 percent reduction in crashes, and a 28 percent reduction in injuries, and for three years in a row no fatalities have been reported in the city.

Chief Shoemaker said, “ We feel these numbers are a result of our traffic enforcement efforts. We keep accident placement maps on the board where we see where we see our accidents occurring and where we are seeing these different types of violations, where our DUI’s are occurring where any number of traffic violations we see them at and we try to work those areas to reduce those numbers overall.”

For their first-time efforts in the Governor’s Challenge Cleveland Police was also picked for the “Rookie of the Year ” award.

“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.”

Cleveland Police Sgt. Wesley Addis and Officer Keith Rayner check out a Traffic Laser used in enforcement efforts