Police officers, deputies and first responders to get $1,000 bonuses beginning Oct. 1

ATLANTA — Starting Oct. 1, every police officer, sheriff’s deputy, firefighter and EMT in Georgia can apply to get a one-time, $1,000 bonus.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that the state will offer the bonuses to law enforcement officers and first responders, including probation officers and 911 dispatchers.

The Peachtree City police chief, Janet Moon, told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that the bonuses are about more than just the money. They’re saying it’s also about the state saying thank you.

“It’s a little infusion, a little shot in the arm to understand the state of Georgia is behind us and it goes a long way,” Moon said.

She told Elliot that she is grateful the state of Georgia will direct nearly $25 million federal CARES Act dollars into the hands of her officers, but also to other law enforcement and first responders across the state of Georgia.

TRENDING STORIES:

As the president of the Georgia Chiefs of Police Association, she knows how hard it’s been to be an officer over the past 18 months.

“I truly do hope this one-time payment can make some of these people a hero to their family and might buy something in the upcoming holidays they didn’t think was possible.”

The past 18 months of this pandemic have been especially hard on law enforcement agencies. And amid the civil unrest and how police have responded to it, it has made it difficult to keep and recruit new officers.

“We know that it has never been harder to wear a badge, and we want to ensure that our local officers know that we appreciate their service and sacrifice,” said Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

The money isn’t automatic. The officers and their departments must apply for it.

Kemp said it’s just the right thing to do to show support for law enforcement and first responders.

“Because when they walk out the door to do their job, they’re putting their lives on the line in tough conditions, and the deserve to know that we have their backs,” Kemp said.

State Democrats released a statement supporting the bonuses, but also added, “these bonuses are thanks exclusively to the president and Georgia Democrats who passed the COVID-19 relief package without a single Georgia Republican vote.”

IN OTHER NEWS: