Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that he will dedicate $100 million to address public safety concerns and the rise in violent crime during and following the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia communities.
"Public safety has always been my top priority, because every Georgian should feel safe in their own communities" said Governor Brian Kemp. "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. To counter their harmful impact, we must continue to invest in our brave men and women in uniform. 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. I look forward to the positive impact these investments will have and expect local governments to take full advantage of these available funds to take the fight to the criminals."
Through the American Rescue Plan Act and the State Fiscal Recovery Fund, Governor Kemp is dedicating up to $1.5 million per award to address increased violent and community crimes as a result of the pandemic and to help offset a decrease in law enforcement staffing that occurred as local governments fought the effects and spread of COVID-19. Funds may be utilized to augment law enforcement staffing, support violent crime reduction or community violence intervention programming, and invest in technology and equipment to address and respond to the rise in gun violence resulting from the pandemic.
All applicants must have an organization or subrecipient that will serve as the fiduciary agent and assume overall responsibility for the grant. Eligible applicants include law enforcement agencies, a unit of local government, and appropriate state agencies with a public safety mission. As a law enforcement grant, the implementing agency must be a law enforcement entity and the affiliated unit of government will be either the city or county commissioners of said law enforcement agency. 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.