After deadly year for law enforcement, legislature seeks to "bac - CBS46 News

After deadly year for law enforcement, legislature seeks to "back the badge"

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These are the officers killed in the line-of-duty in Georgia in 2016. (SOURCE: WGCL) These are the officers killed in the line-of-duty in Georgia in 2016. (SOURCE: WGCL)

Several bills working their way through the Georgia General Assembly are expected to increase protections for law enforcement, including one that would impose longer prison sentences for people convicted of crimes against officers.

In a press release sent out Friday, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle's office touted the success by her and two senators in getting several bills passed through the senate that would make changes aimed at improving life for officers and their families.

“These individuals selflessly act to protect and keep us all safe day-in and day-out – it’s time we all show them they have our full support and backing," Cagle said in a press release.

In 2016, nine law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, an unprecedented seven of them due to gunfire.

The so-called "Back the Badge Act of 2017", SB160, would impose longer sentences for criminals convicted of aggravated assault and aggravated battery against a public safety officer.

  • SB154 significantly increases the amount of money received by a family of a fallen law enforcement officer by fifty percent; totaling $150,000 from the State Indemnification Fund.
  • SB155 creates a nine-person Local Law Enforcement Compensation Commission to review the salaries and benefits our state’s law enforcement officers receive and report its findings to the Georgia General Assembly.
  • SB169 creates a special license plate inscribed with ‘back the badge’ to honor Georgia law enforcement officers. The proceeds from the tag will be directed to the Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund.

Last year was deadly for Georgia Law enforcement

2016 was a deadly year for Georgia's Law enforcement officers, with nine officers dying in the line of duty.

Officials said 2016 surpassed the past two years twofold and an unprecedented seven of the nine deaths of officers were due to gunfire. When we spoke to law enforcement officers at the end of the year, they told us what they saw as a more dangerous atmosphere had them changing their habits.

“[When pulling up to a red light] I like to leave a car length between myself and the vehicle in front of me just in case somebody does start shooting. I can drive out and hopefully get out of traffic,” one officer told CBS46.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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