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Kemp spends $2M from emergency fund for anti-crime efforts

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:53 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Gov. Brian Kemp is spending $2 million from his emergency fund to bolster spending on state efforts to track down fugitives and stop street racing in Atlanta.

The move cam a week after Kemp visited Augusta to join the announcement the biggest gang bust in state history.

Kemp spokesperson Cody Hall says the $2 million will pay for four additional officers specifically assigned to the unit, along with overtime pay for others assigned to the group.

Kemp says Department of Public Safety Col. Chris Wright requested the money.

Hall says the number of state officers working on the weekend effort can sometimes reach dozens.

Kemp said last week that he wants lawmakers to consider anti-crime proposals when they return for a special session to redraw electoral districts this fall.

Kemp’s move comes about a week after Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said he would seek $75 million in the state budget to give each police officer and sheriff’s deputy a $1,000 bonus.

Republican David Ralston also outlined plans to increase salaries for prosecutors and public defenders and bolster the capacity of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Also last 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.

And Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan last week 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.

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