ATLANTA – More than $83.5 million in federal grants is going to support 118 pubic safety measures addressing staffing challenges that arose during the pandemic, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

“With the increase in violent crime seen in communities across the country, including here in our state, we’re sending reinforcements to to keep hardworking Georgians and their neighborhoods safe,” Kemp said. “From tackling staffing needs to deploying new equipment and technology, these funds are being invested so that our brave first responders have the resources they need to fight back against dangerous criminals.”

Under the rules set up for the grant program, awarded funds will be used to supplement law enforcement staffing, support violent crime reduction, or community violence intervention initiatives. The money also can go toward investments in technology and equipment needed to address the rise in community violence resulting from the pandemic.

The largest grants – $1.65 million – went to the Athens-Clarke, Columbus, and Henry County police departments, the DeKalb County School District, and Georgia Piedmont Technical College.