Local law enforcement agencies in Georgia will receive federal aid to assist in response efforts for COVID-19.
The announcement was made by U.S. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on Friday. The money, which totals $15,840,333, will be made available through the Department of Justice as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act/
Local agencies will be able to use the money to hire personnel, pay overtime, purchase protective equipment, distribute resources to hard-hit areas, and address inmates’ medical needs.
The total award amount for the state is less than many corporations received under the CARES Act/Paycheck Protection Program, in which private entities applied for low-interest (1%) loans that will be forgiven if employee wages and count are maintained through June 30, 2020 and if the money is spent on payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities in the eight-week period from the origination date. Larger companies, like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, received $20 million.
In a news release, both Perdue and and Loeffler praised the grant awards and law enforcement officials:
“Georgia’s public safety officers work every day to preserve peace, prevent crime, and protect all Georgians,” said Senator Perdue. “During this public health emergency, our first responders have taken on new duties, from transporting COVID-19 test kits, to delivering necessities to seniors. This CARES Act funding will allow local officials to purchase additional protective equipment and cover the cost of overtime pay, so first responders can continue keeping Georgians safe.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, law enforcement officers remain on call 24-7, keeping Georgia families safe,” said Senator Loeffler. “These heroes are risking their lives to protect every member of our community, and I’m glad this critical funding will be used to safeguard those in the line of duty and provide additional compensation. In the days and weeks ahead, it is imperative that we do all we can to reduce exposure to COVID-19 for all essential workers who are maintaining the safety and health of our nation during this unprecedented time.”
The CARES Act included $850 million for the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program, which provides funding to assist state and local governments in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus.