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HB 0838 - Law enforcement officers and agencies; Office of Public Safety Officer Support; change the name

Tracking Level: Monitor
Sponsor: Bill Hitchens (R)
Last Action: 1/1/2021 - Effective Date
House Committee: Public Safety and Homeland Security
Senate Committee: Public Safety

Staff Analysis of the Legislation


HB 838 renames Office of Public Safety Officer Support at the Department of Public Safety to the Office of Public Safety Support. The bill also amends Chapter 8 of Title 35 of the OCGA to provide peace officers the right to bring civil suit against persons or groups for damages suffered while the peace officer was performing their official duties or for damages suffered as a result of a false claim being filled against the officer. Finally, the bill creates the offense of bias motivated intimidation. A person commits this offense when they cause death, serious bodily harm of another person maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate, harass, or terrorize the other person because of their actual or perceived employment as a first responder. The offense also applies if a person causes damages in excess of $500 to another person’s property under the same circumstances. Convictions for this offense shall be punishable with imprisonment between one and five years, a fine of up to $5000, or both.  The bill further states that each violation of this law will constitute a separate offence which shall not be merged and that sentences for this offense shall run consecutively to sentences for any other offenses. Charges for this offense shall not be prosecuted by way of an accusation but only by indictment or special presentment by a grand jury.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text