"Our law enforcement officials and first responders, have been thrown challenge after challenge in the past year and a half. Civil unrest, a spike in violent crime, as well as the global pandemic," Kemp said during the presser.
Some of the groups eligible include sworn law enforcement, criminal investigators, detectives, probation and parole officers, career firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, sheriffs, deputies, correctional officers, fish, and game wardens, and 911 communication officers and dispatchers.
The money is coming from the State of Georgia's Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, Kemp explained.
Kemp encouraged local governments and employees of public safety officials and first responders to visit the Governer's Office of Planning and Budget for more information on how to apply and receive the funds.
Kemp was joined by Speaker David Ralston, Attorney General Chris Carr, and other members of Congress for the press conference at 2 p.m. on the North Wing of the Georgia State Capitol.
"As long as I am governor ... we will stand with our public safety officials, period," Kemp stated. "They deserve to know that we have their back."
Janet Moon, the president of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, spoke on the significance of the announcement, explaining how first responders never had an option of working from home during the pandemic and how they continue to work on the frontlines helping the public.
"Of the nearly 33 line of duty deaths for law enforcement in the state of Georgia so far in 2021, 28 of those were COVID-19 related. We're going to lose more public safety officers before the year ends, along with more citizens," she said.
Full statement on the supplement from the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget:
"The Law Enforcement and First Responder Supplement program establishes a grant program to provide a $1,000 one-time pay supplement for full-time public safety officers and first responders, including law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters. Public safety entities will apply on behalf of qualifying employees between October 1 and December 31.
The Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) is responsible for administering the Law Enforcement and First Responder Supplement. This program was established in recognition of the sacrifice and dedication those individuals have shown in serving Georgians and their communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Eligible individuals are comprised of full-time Georgia public safety officers and first responders, including law enforcement officers, 911/communications officers, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters. The program will also provide a $300 stipend for volunteer firefighters."
Each agency must apply through a state portal for the bonuses. The portal opens on Friday and agencies will be able to apply through the end of December.