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Law enforcement urges lawmakers to give them a raise

Representatives of state and local law enforcement are urging Georgia lawmakers to raise salaries and benefits to help them surmount difficulties of recruiting and retaining officers.

Members of a Georgia House study committee meeting in Americus heard from officials with the state department of public safety, who identified issues like the demonizing of police officers, defunding of local police agencies, the bail reform movement and the push to end qualified immunity shielding police from prosecution as trends that are discouraging law enforcement officers.

Colonel Chris Wright told members it’s very difficult to convince people to choose to remain in the profession and that the $5,000 pay raises the general assembly adopted for state employees including state troopers, hasn’t increased the number of applicants, with the number of employees leaving the agency continuing to rise.