Henry County leaders pushing for law to protect officers, deputies injured in line of duty

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — There is a new push to protect heroes in law enforcement who have been hurt in the line of duty.

This comes after a mass shooting in Henry County last July where suspected shooter Andre Longmore shot and killed four people, and two officers were hurt trying to take the shooter down.

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One of those injured officers said he lost a large chunk of his salary after the shooting.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winnie was live on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. and told us the officer’s story could bring changes.

“I had a near-fatal injury,” said Henry County Sheriff’s Corporal Daniel Podsiadly.

Corporal Podsiadly said he has testified in court dozens of times in his long law enforcement career, but this was his first time testifying before a legislative committee.

“Bullets were coming our direction and we were zigging and zagging trying to seek some cover and concealment and as I made my way to a woodline to get cover and concealment, that is when I was shot in the back,” said Cpl. Podsiadly.

In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he hopes to potentially save other officers from the financial squeeze he suffered.

When I went under worker’s compensation, I lost basically 20 to 30 percent of my pay all I could think about while sitting in the hospital trying to recover was how am I gonna pay the bills and keep a roof over my head?” said Podsiadly.

Senator Emmanuel Jones, D-Decatur, said he’s co-authored Senator Brian Strickland’s, R, bill to change how the State Board of Worker’s Compensation handles cases involving Georgia Peace Officers who suffer a catastrophic injury in the line of duty while engaged with or in pursuit of a criminal suspect.

“Whatever an officer’s salary is worker’s comp it’s only gonna pay 66 percent of that,” said Sen. Emmanuel Jones.

This means an affected officer will be paid the difference between that, or similar benefits, and that officer’s regular pay.

“They will get 100 percent of what they were paid while they are recovering from their injuries,” said Jones.

Senator Jones said the committee vote would be a landmark if the bill passes both houses and is signed into law by the governor.

This incident here, a bad thing, made a good thing happen,” said Sheriff Ezell Brown, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association President.


Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said when eh spoke with Jones and Strickland about the need for change in the law, he was fulfilling part of a hospital bedside promise he made to Podsiadly.

“We laughed we cried we prayed together,” said Podsiadly.

“There’s an old Bible scripture that says let your works speak for you. And all of the officers in this great state that we live in have done the work...it’s spoken loudly for them. And when there are challenges that they go through and struggles that they go through, we need to be there to ensure that they know we have your spine,” said Scandrett.

Sen. Jones said when the bill passes and is signed into law, it will be known as the “Daniel D. Podsiadly, Jr. Act” for the corporal that testified on Wednesday night.

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