ATLANTA, Feb. 23, 2017 – Today, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with Senators Tyler Harper and Greg Kirk, led the passage of a series of legislative initiatives designed to increase protections for our public safety officials and examine compensation and benefits packages for all local law enforcement agencies.
“We set out to deliver a set of legislative measures designed to increase protections and support for our law enforcement officers and their families,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “These individuals selflessly act to protect and keep us all safe day-in and day-out – it’s time we all show them they have our full support and backing. Georgia has recently experienced a lot of tragedy in our law enforcement community and while these efforts represent significant progress, we must continue to look for ways to do more.”
The following bills received passage in the State Senate:
- SB 160, also known as the Back the Badge Act of 2017, will impose longer prison sentences for criminals convicted of aggravated assault and aggravated battery against a public safety officer.
- SB 154 significantly increases the amount of money received by a family of a fallen law enforcement officer by fifty percent; totaling $150,000 from the State Indemnification Fund.
- SB 155 creates a nine-person Local Law Enforcement Compensation Commission to review the salaries and benefits our state’s law enforcement officers receive and report its findings to the Georgia General Assembly.
- SB 169 creates a special license plate inscribed with ‘back the badge’ to honor Georgia law enforcement officers. The proceeds from the tag will be directed to the Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund.
“It has long been Georgia’s priority to ensure that our peace officers are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve,” said Sen. Harper. “The Back the Badge Act fits in squarely with Georgia’s desire to show our law enforcement community that they have our unwavering support and shows our deep appreciation for their service.”
“The men and women who serve our state as law enforcement officers are true patriots who answer the call regardless of the time of day because they believe in protecting the public,” said Sen. Greg Kirk. “With the passage of the Back the Badge initiatives, we are letting Georgia’s law enforcement community know we have their backs by enacting stricter sentencing and tougher punishments for individuals who are convicted of assault against police officers. We can never thank them enough for all they do, but I believe this is a step in the right direction to show our support.”
“The Senate Republican Caucus is dedicated to assisting those who wear a badge and protect hard-working Georgians from those who would do them harm,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert. “I am proud that the Georgia Senate has put together this comprehensive legislative approach under the leadership of our Lt. Governor and Senators Harper and Kirk.”
These legislative measures now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.