Release | Press Release | October 11, 2023

Milton Chief of Police and Retired General Speak to State Legislature on Importance of Home Visiting Programs

Chief Rich Austin Joined Lt. General Burke Garrett (Ret.) to Speak to a Panel of Lawmakers on the Importance of Home Visiting Programs in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA- Today, Milton Chief of Police Rich Austin joined Lt. General Burke Garrett, U.S. Army (Ret.), former deputy commander of the United States European Command, at the capital to speak to lawmakers on the importance of home visiting programs in Georgia.

Last year, the Department of Defense released the updated figure of military ineligibility in the United States, and the announcement was shocking- 77 percent of Americans aged 17-24 are not eligible for military service, an increase from 71 percent reported in 2017. While several factors are to blame for this rise in military ineligibility, obesity, poor academic performance, and a history of crime or substance abuse are some of the top reasons for American youth not being able to join the armed services.

Chief Austin and Lt. General Garrett advocated for a solution to this problem at a hearing before the newly formed Early Childhood Education working group- voluntary home visiting programs. Research shows that home visiting can cultivate academic success, help prevent later substance misuse, and prevent child health problems, including obesity and mental health issues. These programs can help at-risk children to grow up better prepared for success in their lives and careers, including military service, if they so choose.

“We want to offer this perspective on high-quality early care: It can have a substantial impact on crime. Research shows that high-quality early care and education for at-risk children not only reduces the likelihood of committing a crime later in life, but also provides the state far greater savings than their cost. As decisions on our state budget begin to be made, we hope this committee considers investments in child care that have a strong return on investment for Georgia’s children,” said Milton Chief of Police Rich Austin.

“I am here, in front of the newly formed Early Childhood Education working group, because of a critical need for bolstering the health and well-being of children. We urge your support of home-visiting programs, as an important part of the system of early childhood services that we value,” said Lt. General Burke Garrett, U.S. Army (Ret.).

  • Chief Austin Talking to Reporter in Georgia
  • Georgia Education Working Group Panel

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