ATLANTA, March 3, 2017 – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with the Senate Majority Caucus and the sponsor of the legislation Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, led the passage of Senate Bill 1, also known as “The Protect Act – Protecting Georgians Against Terrorism,” a measure designed to strengthen Georgia’s homeland security and intelligence gathering efforts.
“The safety of Georgia’s 10 million residents will always be our focus,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “It’s unfortunate that such measures are required to prevent acts of terrorism but we are reminded daily of the threats that exist. By leveraging our state’s resources on all levels, we are better equipping our law enforcement community to proactively intercept acts before they can occur.”
SB 1 responds to the most recent incidents in the United States and abroad where “lone wolf” terrorists commit acts of violence. This bill establishes a real time channel to communicate – up and down the chain of command – intelligence regarding suspected terroristic threats and activities to a central location, Georgia’s Department of Homeland Security.
"This bill will become the preeminent legislation in the nation to protect not only our citizens but our critical infrastructure from potential terrorist acts," said Sen. Cowsert. "It is our sincere hope that it will give our law enforcement officers -- from the smallest city police department, up through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, our director of homeland security, and federal agencies -- the ability to stop acts of terrorism before they happen and the ability to prosecute the criminals should the unthinkable occur.”
The Senate continues the successful work started in 2016 to formalize the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center and ensure all relevant stake holders have the needed intelligence and gathering capabilities required to support our state and local law enforcement agencies.
SB 1 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.