After street protests, Georgia weighs police pay hikes, more ‘sensitivity’ training

Gov.  Nathan Deal.  BOB ANDRES  / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Gov. Nathan Deal. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Cleveland – Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday he was considering a legislative package next year that could include more pay for state police officers as well as a new training regimen for law enforcement authorities in the aftermath of violence and unrest in the nation’s streets.

Speaking after a criminal justice panel in Cleveland, Deal said Georgia needs to open a discussion with lawmakers about rewarding police officers for their work but also ensuring they get more “sensitivity” training to handle a new wave of protests.

“When you ask somebody to put on a uniform, to put on a bulletproof vest, to put them in situations that most of us would not want to go in no matter what, we owe it to them to make sure we do everything we can to protect them, provide them with the kind of undergirding support,” Deal said.

He said in an interview that his discussions are in the early stages, and that he would soon reach out to lawmakers and other community leaders to craft the policies.

“It will be across-the-board showing appreciation and support for our law enforcement community, but at the same time making sure we address some of the concerns that we need to address,” he said.

Deal’s comments come after days of protests in Atlanta and other cities following over the shooting deaths of unarmed black men – and the assassinations of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas.

He added:

“We need to make sure that law enforcement officers being trained by the state have included in that training sensitivity to communities, and how to deal with difficult situation within a community context.”


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