The GOP Debate over a minimum wage for cops

According to a study based on census data, recently highlighted by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, some 3,200 members of this state’s law enforcement community — bailiffs, prison guards, jailers, beat cops and deputy sheriffs — are food stamp recipients.

“That’s probably correct,” said Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.

But it is only a rough estimate. By the end of this fall, before the Legislature gathers, Norris wants a more definitive assessment of how many cops and deputies “would actually be eligible for public assistance.”

The push by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association for a mandatory minimum wage for those who wear a badge is already an established feature of the 2018 Republican race for governor. Earlier this year, state Sen. Michael Williams of Cumming introduced Senate Bill 254, which would set a pay floor for deputy sheriffs.

A task force looking at base pay for cops and deputies, set up by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in May, held its most recent meeting last Tuesday, with Norris’ group.

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