CONTACT: Lindsey Thompson
Public Information Officer
On Thursday, April 24, 2014, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 899, which seeks to better protect Georgia's citizens from people who own or operate an unlicensed personal care home.
The Marietta Police Department and Police Chief Dan Flynn helped bring the need for this bill to the forefront of the 2014 Legislative Session. Throughout the Legislative Session, Chief Flynn attended committee meetings and gave compelling testimony by describing two cases of abuse in unlicensed Cobb County homes to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
House Bill 899 makes changes to the code section relating to unlicensed personal care homes which now states that if a person is operating an unlicensed care facility and there is evidence of abuse or neglect, that person will now face felony charges.
"It is imperative that we protect those Georgians who cannot protect themselves," said Chief Flynn. "Many times we find out during our investigation that these types of unlicensed care facilities are also a cover for more serious crimes, such as theft of medication and money. Our Police Department is pleased we were able to play a role in stiffening the penalty for these types of offenses and making the operation of these types of homes a criminal offense. On behalf of the Marietta Police Department I, would also like to thank both Representative Sharon Cooper, the author of the bill, and the Cobb Elder Abuse Task Force because without their help, the passage of this bill would not have been possible."