For Immediate Release
Monday, October 17, 2022
ATLANTA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp rolled out additional second-term public safety priorities aimed at building a safer, stronger Georgia for all who call the Peach State home.
“Since day one of my administration, I have worked hard to deliver on my campaign promises by cracking down on criminal street gangs, standing with our men and women in law enforcement, and leading the fight against violent crime across our state,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Although we’ve made significant progress putting dangerous criminals behind bars and making our communities safer, we still have work left to do. Building on Marty’s bipartisan work on human trafficking, we will prioritize the fight against this evil industry in my second term. We will increase penalties for gang members who try to recruit our children, help more hardworking Georgians become members of our law enforcement community, and help stop the revolving door of criminals getting back out onto our streets. By working together, we will build a safer, stronger Georgia and ensure the Peach State’s best days are ahead.”
Building a Safer, Stronger Georgia: Public Safety
During his 2018 campaign for governor, Brian Kemp prioritized cracking down on criminal street gangs, tackling violent crime, and making communities across our state safer. Early in his first term, Governor Kemp fulfilled a key promise on the campaign trail and created an Anti-Gang Unit within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has assisted in hundreds of cases statewide and helped bring dozens of violent criminals to justice. The Governor also championed $5,000 raises for state law enforcement, signed legislation to toughen penalties on street racers, and worked with Attorney General Chris Carr to expand efforts to prosecute gangs and human traffickers.
First Lady Marty Kemp has led bipartisan efforts to raise awareness regarding human trafficking, strengthen state laws to punish the perpetrators, and help the victims of this evil industry heal and re-enter society. These unanimous pieces of legislation were signed into law by Governor Kemp.
In a second term, Governor Kemp will build on the success of his first four years in office by increasing penalties for gang recruitment of minors, implementing a database for gang research and prevention, reforming the “own recognizance” bond system, creating an education loan reimbursement program for those looking to become POST-certified members of Georgia’s law enforcement community and medical examiners, and ensuring specific places of business adhere to state law regarding notification of human trafficking resources.
Cracking Down on Gangs:
Governor Kemp will prioritize legislation to update Code section 16-15-4e to increase the penalty from 5 years minimum to 10 years minimum for recruitment of a minor into a criminal street gang, as defined by current state law.
The Kemp administration prioritized and funded in 2020 and 2021 the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Database to build on the strongest gang statute in the country.
• This database will include voluntary reporting from local law enforcement, and will serve as a repository of collected gang data to be accessed and utilized by all participating local and state law enforcement.
• Data collected will include gang crimes, and suspected and convicted gang members, to the benefit of law enforcement intelligence and action.
Combatting Human Trafficking:
Governor Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp will champion legislation to increase fines for specific locations listed in code section 16-5-47 if they fail to post information for individuals being trafficked or held against their will.
• Currently state law stipulates a maximum fine of $500 for the first offense
• Governor Kemp will support legislation to increase those fines to no less than $500 and not more than $1000 for the first offense, and no less than $1000 and no more than $5000 on second offense.
“Own Recognizance” (OR) Bond Reform:
Governor Kemp will support legislation requiring judges to consider criminal history when issuing OR bonds.
Additionally, the Kemp administration will seek to amend current statute to prohibit the issuance of OR bonds to individuals with a proven history of bail jumping or failing to appear in court.
Loan Reimbursement for Future Peace Officers, Medical Examiners:
Building on last year’s success of adding Criminal Justice degrees to the HOPE Career Grant list, Governor Kemp will support legislation to create additional assistance for those entering a career as a peace officer.
• The program would serve as a service reimbursable loan to pay direct and indirect higher education costs for a certificate, diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate education at an eligible Georgia institution when an individual begins work as a peace officer in Georgia.
• Kemp administration budgets will recommend funding to recruit and retain up to 800 peace officer recipients who can take advantage of the reimbursable loan.
• The maximum amount of loan repayment assistance would be $20,000 over a 5 year period (max of $4,000 a year).
Governor Kemp will also prioritize a new Georgia Medical Examiner Service Loan Reimbursement Program, designed as a recruitment tool to attract and retain medical examiners from across the nation to Georgia by implementing a service-based loan repayment program for Georgia’s 19 medical examiner positions.
• Only half of existing medical examiner positions are filled, which contributes to case delays across the state.
• The program would allow a medical examiner, employed by the GBI, a graduated annual percentage reimbursement of their loan for up to 5 years, with a total maximum aggregate award of $100,000 per medical examiner.
Tate Mitchell – Press Secretary
Kemp for Governor