Gov. Brian Kemp surrounded by law enforcement leaders at the state capitol September 27, 2021

Jonathan O'Brien

On Monday, state officials announced plans to give Georgia’s first responders a one-time $1,000 pay supplement.

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

Funding for the $100 million program is coming from federal COVID-19 relief money given to the state through the “American Rescue Plan Act.”

Upwards of 80,000 first responders across the state will be eligible. Volunteer public safety officials will be eligible for a $300 stipend.

“Others may talk of defunding your departments, slashing your budgets, or vilifying your profession––not here in Georgia,” Governor Brian Kemp said. “We are going to refund or fund our public safety officials and let them know that the people of this state and its leaders value them as well as their families.”

 According to the governor’s office, in order to receive the funds, local governments and public safety employers will have to file an application with the state.

The window to apply is from October 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021.

“It certainly means a lot to law enforcement that candidates across the board support law enforcement,” Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord told WGUR Radio. “If you look on a local level especially in these rural counties and cities that $1,000 is a blessing to these people because they don’t make no money.”

See the preliminary list of qualifying groups below:

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