February 17, 2017 Radio Commentary

The Protect Act

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 17, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

You’ll be glad to know that Georgia legislators are keenly aware that terrorism is a threat, so much so that on January 10th, Senator Cowsert introduced The Protect Act, to create real time communication and cooperation with agencies “up and down the chain of command” when terrorism is suspected.

The Protect Act is S.B. 1 that defines domestic terrorism as the (a) violation or attempted violation of laws for the advancement of an ideology or belief, the (b) terrorizing of Georgia’s civilian population, (c) even if only one person is affected. A suspected terrorist is a person reasonably suspected to be, or has been, involved in global or domestic terroristic conduct.

Georgia has four major state agencies dedicated to keeping us safe from terrorism. They are the Georgia Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Georgia Ministry of Defense, the Intelligence Service of Georgia, and the Special State Protection service of Georgia.

The state’s primary agency focusing on terrorism is the Georgia Ministry of Internal Affairsthat heads operations in case there’s a state emergency. Meanwhile, it implements special measures to gather and analyze data on activities of foreign and international terrorist organizations. It makes sure counter-terrorist tactics are implemented and uses its Counter-terrorist Centre to coordinate plans of other terrorism-combating agencies.Georgia’s Ministry of Defense ensures the protection of weapons, ammunition, explosives and toxic substances in military units or stored in specific places; organizes the preparation and use of Georgia Armed forces ground troops; and participates in anti-terrorist operations at military facilities.

The Intelligence Service of Georgia gathers and processes data about international and foreign terrorist organizations acting outside of Georgia and participates in counter-terrorist operations within its authority.

The Special State Protection Service of Georgia participates in operations to stop terrorist acts against officials and objects under special state protection.

S.B. 1 states that a terrorist threat or act against only one person at anytime, anywhere will qualify as terrorism and trigger response of these special agencies. Under current law, ten people must be affected before an act is classified as terrorism.

S.B. 1 is a good bill. So, please call Senator Harper at 404 463-5263 and ask him to pass The Protect Act out of his committee. For Georgia Insight, I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.