ATLANTA (WSAV) — State lawmakers say we need to train, recruit and hire the right officers to prevent situations from escalating.

“What are we doing in Georgia and Gov Kemp is working hard that our officers are trained with body cams and so many things we have in place that make sure our officers are held accountable,” said State Sen. Dexter Sharper (D-Valdosta).

State lawmakers addressing the violence at “Cop City” saying while police officers do need to be trained on how to handle protests and have the right resources, they condemn any type of violence to property that causes vandalism and damage.

“So far we have been lucky in TN or MN here in GA,” said State Sen. Sheikh Rahman (D-Gwinnett County) “But the one of the thing is we need to train our officers. We have not spending time and money to train the officers. We cannot legislate some of the things that is going on.”

“We are being proactive not reactive or inactive. That can happen in Georgia but we don’t want it to happen,” said Sen. Sharper. 

Lawmakers say part of the budget should continue to look to fund mental health and crisis intervention so officers know how to handle difficult cases and have resources to de-escalate volatile situations.