A Safer Georgia
Protecting the citizens of Georgia has always been a top priority for Governor Perdue. Immediately upon entering office he put Georgia in the forefront of tackling one of the biggest problems facing our state, the rise of methamphetamine use. In 2003, Governor Perdue signed legislation taking a stand against methamphetamine use and production by making it a felony to possess any materials necessary with the intent to produce methamphetamines. To enforce the strides against methamphetamine use and production, Governor Perdue, in 2005 and 2006, created and expanded the GBI Meth Force which comprises of 30 agents that provide training and support to local law enforcement in clandestine methamphetamine responses as well as established the metro-Atlanta initiative High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) to combat the methamphetamine importation and distribution networks within the Atlanta area.
Governor Perdue also makes protecting our state’s children a top priority and in 2004 he unveiled his Child Protection Package. This package gave stronger punishments for methamphetamine production in the presence of a child, made it a felony offense for criminally negligent behavior towards children, and enhanced the effectiveness of Georgia’s Levi’s Call. Levi’s Call is a voluntary collaborative effort between local law enforcement, emergency management, and the media to activate an urgent bulletin in child abduction cases. The Governor’s enhancement exempted the media from liability for the broadcast of information in a Levi’s Call, ensuring that every effort has been made for the prompt and safe return of any abducted child.
With creating tougher penalties on offenders Governor Perdue also ensures Georgians that dangerous criminals will be locked up and recommended $45 million to add more than 4,300 beds to the State’s prison system and reduce the jail backlog on our counties.
Protecting Victims of Crime
Aside from being tough on crime, Governor Perdue also made strides in protecting Georgia’s victims of crime. Two significant pieces of legislation in 2005 reformed Georgia’s criminal justice system and provided fairness and justice for victims of crime – the Criminal Justice Act and Crime Victims Restitution Act. The Criminal Justice Act revised provisions in Georgia’s criminal law that compromised the integrity of the judicial process and the rights of crime victims. The Crime Victims Restitution Act revised Georgia’s restitution laws to recognize that victim’s rights are a top priority and significantly reduced the impediments in the awarding and collecting restitution process.
In working towards making Georgia’s roads and highways safer Governor Perdue introduced legislation to help reduce traumatic automobile accidents and provide additional funds for trauma care in the state. This “Super Speeder” legislation will increase fines and penalties for speeders in Georgia. All the money generated from these fines, as much as $25 million a year, would go to the state’s general treasury with the intent that the money be used to fund a trauma care system for the state.
Governor Perdue also better ensured the safety of Georgia’s drivers by creating the motorcycle unit within the Georgia State Patrol. The unit’s purpose is to patrol speeding in the Atlanta metro-area as well as be a part of the first responders team when accidents occur within the perimeter.
Governor Perdue made protecting the security of our state a top priority in cracking down on the use of fraudulent documents to obtain state identification. The Governor’s initiative, Georgia SecureID, is a multi-agency effort to combat the use of fraudulent documents to obtain state identification cards and driver’s licenses. With this initiative, Georgia Department of Driver’s Services investigators will be placed in the 10 highest-need DDS Customer Service Centers throughout the state to crack down identity fraud.