Governor signs Hill's crime bills into law

By Justin Reedy

On Tuesday, Victor Hill the state representative watched the governor sign three of his crime bills into law, and the next day Victor Hill the police detective will hit the streets to enforce those laws.

Hill, a Democrat from Riverdale, was on hand at the state capitol as Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law House Bills 173, 196 and 255, all of which were co-sponsored by the freshman legislator.

"It's a rewarding feeling," Hill said. "I'm really looking forward to the results of these bills."

Hill, who is also a detective with the Clayton County Police Department, took advantage of his first term in the Georgia General Assembly to work on legislation targeting crime.

HB 173, for instance, makes it a crime to commit certain felonies while wearing a bulletproof vests n a law that Hill said goes after violent criminals who aren't afraid to get in a shootout with police and are therefore a danger to everyone.

"It'll take criminals with a propensity for violence off the street," Hill said.

HB 196, on the other hand, changes the minimum amount of marijuana required in an offender's possession for them to be charged with drug trafficking.

"A lot of crimes are drug-related," the police detective said. "I'm hoping this bill sends a strong message to drug dealers that the state of Georgia won't mess around, even with marijuana."

Unlike Hill's two other bills, HB 255 deals more with victims of crimes than offenders. It will require the state to pay for the cost of a translator for domestic violence victims with an English language barrier who are seeking a temporary protective order.

"I'm looking forward to the fact that, with this bill, women who don't speak English and are victims of domestic violence can get the help they need without a financial burden being put on them," he said.