One state representative says she’s renewing her plans to push a bill that would provide enhanced penalties for people who set police vehicles on fire.
State Representative Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) said this week that she plans to push for the passage of House Bill 500, legislation which would create a new offense for setting a law enforcement vehicle on fire, during the 2024 legislative session. Over the weekend, multiple law enforcement motorcycles were set on fire at the Atlanta Police Training Academy; local officials later found incendiary devices at the scene.
“We welcome peaceful demonstrations, but Georgia will not tolerate the destruction of property,” Rep. Silcox said in a news release. “An attack on police property is an attack on public safety, and HB 500 would give prosecutors a mechanism to directly penalize arsonists who pose a threat to public safety. In addition to the danger and destruction of property, these violent acts project a negative image of our city, which hurts our business climate and tourism industry.”
Under HB 500, any person convicted of the arson of a law enforcement vehicle would be punished by a fine up to $100,000 or by imprisonment for a minimum of five years with a maximum of 20 years, or both.
During the 2023 legislative session, the Georgia House of Representatives passed HB 500, sending the legislation to the Senate for its consideration. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation, but HB 500 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote before the session concluded. HB 500 will remain eligible for consideration in the Senate during the 2024 legislative session, which will convene next January.
For more information on House Bill 500, please click here.