ATLANTA -- The peach has become a staple on "peach state" license plates, but drivers could soon have a new option to "back the badge" for their cars.
Legislation that passed in the state Senate would amend the code relating to special license plates available to Georgia drivers. SB 169, sponsored by Rep. Greg Kirk (R) from District 13, would "establish a specialty license plate honoring law enforcement" officers and would give all funds raised by the state to the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund. The measure passed in the Georgia Senate on Feb. 24 54-0.
It was presented March 14 before the House motor vehicle committee, which supported the measure. It now has to go before the full Georgia House, where it must get a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
The idea was developed by Aaron Cosby of Sumter County, according to the Peace Officers Association of Georgia (POAG). It was in response to the deaths of two officers killed in the line of duty in December 2016, the group said.
On Dec. 7, officers Jody Smith and Nick Smarr were shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call near the GSW State University campus in Americus, Ga. They were two officers killed in a deadly year for law enforcement. In 2016, nine police officers lost their lives to violence.
Photos | Officers lost in 2016
Photos | Officers killed in Georgia in 2016
The POAG is a group that provides training, scholarships and support to peace officers and their families and has been in existence as an organization since the 1950s.