Kemp dedicating $100 million to fight violent crime, reinforce local law enforcement

Announcement comes the same day Georgia governor endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 10:44 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday he is dedicating $100 million to fight violent crime that he said began rising during the Covid pandemic.

Kemp, who was also endorsed Thursday by the Fraternal Order of Police, said the money will also be used to strengthen public safety and reinforce local law enforcement.

“Over the past several years, we’ve seen an unacceptable increase in violent crime all across the state, fueled by the pandemic and misguided efforts like the ‘Defund the Police’ movement which demoralized our hardworking law enforcement officers,” Kemp said. “With these funds, I am sending reinforcements to those on the front lines to help with recruitment and retention, crime reduction, violence intervention, and equipment and technology.”

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Kemp’s move comes in the midst of a reelection challenge from Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is also seeking support from the state’s law enforcement community. In June, Abrams announced her support for a $50,000 base salary for state law enforcement, among other proposals:

The $100 million is being funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and the State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Up to $1.5 million per award can be used, Kemp said, to address increased violent and community crimes as a result of the pandemic and to help offset a decrease in law enforcement staffing.

“Once again, Brian Kemp is turning to funds provided by Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which he called ‘a slap in the face for hardworking Georgians’ and urged Georgia’s U.S. senators to oppose,” said Democratic Party of Georgia spokesperson Max Flugrath. “While Kemp blasts Biden, he’s quick to spend the funds provided by the President’s efforts and brag about the projects on the campaign trail. Georgians have President Biden and our state’s Democratic members of Congress to thank for these funds, and voters will remember that in November.”

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Funds may be used to help law enforcement staffing, support violent crime reduction or community violence intervention programming, and invest in technology and equipment to respond to the rise in gun violence during the pandemic.

Each eligible applicant must provide supporting data documenting an increase in violent gun crimes and other community violence demonstrating the trend began during the pandemic or was worsened by it.

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“Governor Kemp has demonstrated throughout his tenure as governor that he supports the men and women of law enforcement in their daily efforts to make Georgia a safe place to live and do business,” said Georgia Fraternal Order of Police President Jeff Wiggs. “Gov. Kemp also recognizes the dangers faced by our members and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.”