ICYMI: Reverend Warnock’s Bipartisan Bill to Support Local Law Enforcement, Keep Communities Safe Passes Senate Unanimously
Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams: “Senator Warnock Really Understands The Needs Of Local Law Enforcement.”
The Invest to Protect Act Invests In Local Law Enforcement Agencies In Georgia, Providing Funds For Training, Equipment, Mental Health Support, Officer Recruitment, And Retention
Atlanta, GA – On Monday, Reverend Warnock’s Invest to Protect Act passed the Senate with unanimous support. The bill would invest $250 million in local law enforcement agencies across Georgia and the United States. This legislation is part of Reverend Warnock’s ongoing commitment to supporting Georgia’s law enforcement agencies and keeping Georgia communities safe.
In response to the passage of this bipartisan bill to support local law enforcement, Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said, “Senator Warnock really understands the needs of local law enforcement…It’s huge for us because it helps shoulder the burden on local taxpayers to provide funding to hire, train, and retain the best qualified officers.”
Read more about Reverend Warnock’s commitment to support local law enforcement:
Watch WJBF’s Coverage HERE
Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams: “Senator Warnock really understands the needs of local law enforcement.”
Deirnesa Jefferson, WJBF: “A bill sponsored by Senator Raphael Warnock could mean more funding for smaller law enforcement agencies like Burke County”
Williams: “It’s huge for us because it helps shoulder the burden on local taxpayers to provide funding to hire, train, and retain the best qualified officers.”
Watch WJBF’s Coverage HERE
Deirnesa Jefferson, WJBF: “The Invest to Protect Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Raphael Warnock would provide $250 million over the next five years.”
Reverend Warnock: “It’s focused squarely and sharply on our smaller police departments to make sure that they have what they need so that they can provide us the care that we need.”
Jefferson: “It would invest in training, equipment, mental health support and officer recruitment and retention.”
Warnock: “It will make for a better police department and a better trained police department.”
Jefferson: “For a county like Screven, a lack of resources makes it harder to hire and keep officers. Currently they have less than half of the full time deputies they need– meaning deputies often go to calls alone.”
Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile: “The officer is out there by himself and is 15 to 20 minutes away from help most of the time.”
Jefferson: “Getting federal funding could help the county hire more deputies and cut down on response times.”
- A bill aimed at providing more funding for small law enforcement agencies could be a big help in rural counties like Screven. “Small law enforcement agencies are not funded because the county and the city just honestly doesn’t have the money,” Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile said.
- The Invest to Protect Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Raphael Warnock would provide $250 million dollars over the next five years to support smaller law enforcement agencies.
- “It’s focused squarely and sharply on our smaller police departments to make sure that they have what they need to provide us the care that we need,” Sen. Raphael Warnock said.
- It would invest in training, equipment, mental health support and officer recruitment and retention.
- “It will make for a better police department and a better trained police department,” Warnock said.
- For a county like Screven, a lack of resources makes it harder to hire and keep officers. Currently they have less than half of the full-time deputies they need — meaning deputies often go to calls alone.
- “The officer is out there by himself and he’s 15 to 20 minutes away from help most of the time,” Kile said.Getting federal funding could help the county hire more deputies and cut down on response times. “Our response time would be cut down, probably in half,” Kile said.
Watch WJBF’s Coverage HERE
Barclay Bishop, WJBF: “Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock proposing the invest to protect act will provide funds to counties with less than 200 officers like Burke and Screven. The money would be used for training, equipment, and mental health support, along with other officer recruitment and retention programs.”
Augusta Chronicle — Screven County sheriff endorses ‘Invest to Protect’ law enforcement legislation
- Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile said June 2 that they are in “desperate” need of financial help, and believes the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act will help make that happen.
- The legislation creates a grant program providing $250 million over the next five years for small law enforcement agencies across the U.S. These agencies will be able to invest in needed training, equipment, mental health support, recruitment and retention of officers.
- Kile said they would use the funds, in part, to do some much-needed maintenance work at the county jail. The sheriff’s office also intends to train and fortify the staff.
- “In rural areas, deputy’s out there by himself,” Kile said. “He’s usually 15-20 minutes away from help. He has to learn how to de-escalate, how to talk to people, how to get along with people.”
- “Everybody’s running short, everybody’s having trouble recruiting people,” Kile said. “This is a far more difficult job than it’s ever been.”
- The act was co-sponsored by Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock and was advanced on May 19 with full support by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate for a full vote.
- It was part of a bigger law enforcement support package, which also included the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act, which funds mental health programs for first responders; the Strong Communities Act, which supports police recruitment and retention; and the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act, which provides training on crisis management and alternatives to use of force.
BACKGROUND ON WARNOCK’S SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT:
- Reverend Warnock helped secure $3.9 billion in grants for state and local law enforcement in the FY2022 spending bill–an increase of $506.4 million over the previous year.
- Within this legislative package, Warnock secured $250 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program, a $9 million increase in funding over the previous fiscal year. This program will fund additional personnel, supplies, support, and training for local police departments.
- Reverend Warnock’s mental health package provides funding to make mental health and peer counseling services available for law enforcement officials.
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