The Georgia Department of Public Safety was created in 1937 and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Capitol Police and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD).
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GSP troopers investigate traffic crashes and enforce traffic and criminal laws on the state's roads. Capitol Police officers prevent and detect criminal acts, and enforce traffic regulations throughout Capitol Hill. MCCD officers conduct safety inspections of commercial motor vehicles and inspect highway shipments of hazardous materials.
Georgia State Patrol
"Wisdom, Justice and Moderation" has been the motto of the Georgia State Patrol since its inception in March 1937. It was the motoring public who first advocated the need for the Department of Public Safety. Traffic fatalities, increased crime, and a need for a larger law enforcement agency with statewide arrest powers, led Georgia lawmakers to create the State Patrol. In the summer of 1937, the first Trooper School was held at Georgia Tech and graduated 80 Troopers. To date, the Georgia State Patrol has graduated 111 Trooper Schools.
Since its beginnings, the Georgia State Patrol has been one of the leading law enforcement agencies in the country with regards to new technology and innovations. Georgia State Patrol was the first agency to equip all of its patrol cars with dash-mounted cameras. Each trooper on patrol in Georgia has specialized training in the Pursuit Intervention Technique (P.I.T.). This method allows Troopers to end pursuits quickly by putting the fleeing vehicle in a controlled spin.
Officers with the Capitol Police Division investigate criminal incidents and traffic crashes; manage street closures for events; patrol the streets on Capitol Square and those adjacent to other state buildings; provide courtroom security for Georgia's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals; conduct security assessments and surveillance detection; and deliver personal safety training for state employees and others.
Motor Carrier Compliance
The Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) performs driver and vehicle inspections of commercial motor vehicles at roadsides, inspection stations, and at carriers' terminals. The inspections range from "full" vehicle and driver inspections, which includes mechanical components, to "driver only" inspections. These may also include inspections of vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
This division consists of the following units and programs:
- HOV Unit - responsible for the enforcement of High Occupancy Lane restrictions and communications.
- School Bus Safety Unit - responsible for the annual safety inspection of the state's 17,000 public school buses
- Compliance Review Program/Safety Audit - consists of 20 officers who conduct interstate and intrastate compliance reviews.
- Size and Weight Enforcement - the operation of 19 permanent weight/inspection stations provides enforcement coverage on the interstates and related by-pass routes.
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Program - contains five federally funded and required program areas, Driver/Vehicle Inspections, Traffic Enforcement, Compliance Reviews, Public Information and Education and Data Collection.