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$1,000 bonus proposed for Ga. cops as state leaders target crime

The Atlanta Police Department helped U.S. Marshals make an arrest. (Source WOIO)
The Atlanta Police Department helped U.S. Marshals make an arrest. (Source WOIO)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 8:52 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s House speaker says he will seek $75 million in the state budget to give each police officer and sheriff’s deputy a $1,000 bonus.

Republican David Ralston on Wednesday also outlined plans to increase salaries for prosecutors and public defenders and bolster the capacity of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Earlier this week, Ralston said he’d propose $3 million to hire 20 new state troopers to focus on some issues in metro Atlanta, and beef up anti-gang and anti-human trafficking enforcement.

He, the governor and lieutenant governor all have focused in crime issues this week.

Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday he will ask lawmakers to consider proposals to fight crime in Atlanta in a fall special legislative session. And he’s coming to Augusta on Friday to discuss a recent long-term gang investigation that resulted in numerous arrests locally and statewide.

And Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on Thursday unveiled plans to create a $250 million state tax credit directly targeted at lowering crime statewide.

It would allow citizens and corporations to write a check directly to their local law enforcement agency they can receive a 100% dollar-for-dollar state tax credit. The credit would be capped at $5,000 per individual, $10,000 per married couple or 75 percent of a corporation’s tax liability.

Law enforcement agencies would be required to allocate those dollars to pay officers more, hire additional officers, and increase officer training.

The moves come as Georgia and the nation as a whole have seen an increase in violent crime since the height of the pandemic — and even the year before.

The CSRA hasn’t been immune. Richmond County by the end of May had seen almost as many homicides as it had in all of 2019. In fact just this week, three people were shot to death in the CSRA within a little over 36 hours.

From reports by The Associated Press and WRDW/WAGT