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2022 Elections

Sheriffs Get Involved in Kemp-Perdue Spat Over Georgia State Patrol

Georgia Sheriffs are among those now involved in the spat between Governor Brian Kemp and David Perdue over the Georgia State Patrol.

Last week, Republican challenger David Perdue said in an interview that he would prioritize returning the state patrol to “an elite level.”

“We’ve got to get our Georgia State Patrol back to the elite level that it always was. Somehow it’s been let to deteriorate by a lack of leadership from the Governor’s Office over the last three years, in my opinion,” he said.

The statement was met with opposition from former GSP employees and gubernatorial candidates alike.

Republican candidate for Governor Kandiss Taylor said:

Kemp said he wouldn’t allow attacks on the “elite men and women” who have “served our state admirably” and ;ate last week, a coalition of Georgia sheriffs and state lawmakers condemned Perdue’s comments.

The coalition released the following statement:

“As sheriffs and leaders in local law enforcement, we are disappointed in former Senator Perdue’s disparaging comments about our partners in the Georgia State Patrol. Every day, we work alongside the Department of Public Safety to keep our communities and state safe, and today we stand shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who wear the blue and gray. In these uncertain and dangerous times for law enforcement, we appreciate the strong support Governor Kemp and his family have given to the dedicated Georgians who wear the uniform.”

Sheriff James Hale – Oconee County
Sheriff Stephen Tinsley – Clinch County
Sheriff Stacy Jarrard – Lumpkin County
Sheriff Clark Millsap – Bartow County
Sheriff Jeff Johnson – Dawson County
Sheriff Mike Jolley – Harris County
Sheriff Lenn Wood – Coweta County
Sheriff Rick Kelley – White County
Sheriff Neil Jump – Glynn County
Sheriff Jud Smith – Barrow County
Sheriff Robert Markley – Morgan County
Sheriff Dan Kilgore – Upson County
Sheriff Jim Proctor – Camden County
Sheriff Charles “Nick” Norton – Lanier County
Sheriff Chad Nichols – Rabun County
Sheriff Clay Whittle – Columbia County
Sheriff Steve Thomas – Franklin County
Sheriff Ashley Paulk – Lowndes County
Sheriff Joe Chapman – Walton County
Sheriff Jeff Watson – Taylor County
Sheriff Shane Tondee – Schley County

“Former Senator Perdue’s comments regarding the Georgia State Patrol are extremely disrespectful and show a blatant disregard for the distinguished service of our state law enforcement. The General Assembly and Governor Kemp have always made public safety and supporting our men and women in uniform a top priority. In addition to the $5,000 raise for state law enforcement included in this year’s budget, numerous additional trooper schools over the years, and appropriations for the new Department of Public Safety headquarters, we have worked hard to give these heroes the tools – and strong support – they need to protect our families, communities, and state. Specifically, personnel within the Department deserve enormous credit for their significant progress through the Crime Suppression Unit in Atlanta and other metro areas around the state. We stand with our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate, along with Governor Kemp and his family, in backing the blue!”

  • Sen. John Albers – Chairman, Georgia Senate Public Safety Committee
  • Rep. J Collins – Chairman, Georgia House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee
  • Rep. Bill Hitchens – Chairman, Georgia House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, former Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, and 28-year veteran of the Georgia State Patrol

Perdue later doubled down, saying:

Jessica Szilagyi
Written By

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter:

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