AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is dedicating $100 million in funding to local law enforcement agencies.
It aims to address a rise in violent crime by providing funding for recruitment and retention, crime reduction and technology.
“Across the country we’ve had a 45 percent increase in retirements in police agencies and we’ve also had resignations at a number of about 20 percent,” Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said.
Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office along with other agencies are dealing with staffing shortages.
“Right now, we don’t need more positions, we need people to fill those positions,” Clayton said.
Clayton said while filling those positions is challenging due to the fewer people wanting to join law enforcement, he’s hoping the funding can be used to install more security cameras around the city to be in places where deputies can’t be.
“We only have so many deputies to cover the county so you can’t cover all over them, but you can cover a lot more with cameras and maybe deputies looking at those cameras around the clock,” Clayton said.
The funding could also help with crime deterrence programs like Augusta Giving Back.
“That’s a focused deterrence program that doesn’t just emphasize locking people up, it emphasizes focusing on people and helping to divert them from criminal activity,” Clayton said.
The application opens on September 1.