Senator Reverend Warnock’s legislation, the Invest to Protect Act, will provide federal funding for training, equipment, mental health support, officer recruitment and retention to support small law enforcement agencies in Georgia and across the country.
This bill makes critical investments to increase officer safety, fund de-escalation and domestic violence training, purchase body worn cameras and more.
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I’m glad the House passed my bipartisan legislation to help keep our families and communities in Georgia safe by strengthening critical support for our small local law enforcement agencies.”
ICYMI FROM WJBF
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock’s (D-GA) bipartisan bill to provide $250 million over the next five years to support small law enforcement agencies in Georgia and across the country passed a major hurdle by clearing the U.S. House of Representatives today, pushing it one step closer to being signed into law. The Invest to Protect Act will make critical, targeted investments in local police departments and ensure that police officers in smaller communities in Georgia and across the country have the resources and training they need to keep themselves and their communities safe. This funding will invest in officer safety, de-escalation and domestic violence response training, recruitment, retention, and mental health resources. Senator Warnock’s bill passed the Senate unanimously in early August.
“I’m glad the House passed my bipartisan legislation to help keep our families and communities in Georgia safe by strengthening critical support for our small local law enforcement agencies,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “Communities all across Georgia rely on our law enforcement officers every day, but our smallest communities often have the hardest time getting the support they need to attract and train officers, and securing the resources they need to serve. This vote pushes my bill closer to the finish line, and I’m not going to stop working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bill signed into law.”
In Georgia and across the country, small departments often struggle to compete with larger ones for access to critical resources. The Invest to Protect Act will establish a grant through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to provide $50 million per year for five years specifically to help small local law enforcement agencies make meaningful investments in their officers and communities. The bill also requires a streamlined grant application process so that small agencies without dedicated grant-writing staff can access the funding.
The Invest to Protect Act earned the support of the Burke County and Screven County Sheriffs’ Offices, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Peace Officers’ Association of Georgia.
The Invest to Protect Act builds on Senator Warnock’s steadfast support for Georgia’s law enforcement officers and agencies. In May, Senator Warnock cosponsored and passed a resolution in honor of National Police Week, honoring the law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2021. Senator Warnock also helped to secure $3.9 billion in funding for local and state law enforcement and communities in the annual government funding bill, which is an increase of roughly $500 million above the previous year’s enacted spending. Additionally, Senator Warnock requested strong funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in the package, which provides funds to local police departments to hire additional officers for community policing and supports other initiatives related to community policing; the funding bill provides $512 million for this program, more than $126 million than last year—an increase of nearly 33%.
Read the full bill text here.
Title and affiliation are provided for identification purposes only. A pastor and social justice advocate, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock was elected to the United States Senate in 2021 and serves on the Senate Agriculture, Banking, and Commerce committees, as well as the Joint Economic Committee and Senate Special Committee on Aging.