ATLANTA — April 9, 2019 — State lawmakers in Georgia have passed a bill in both the House and Senate that will regulate the crime scene clean-up industry, according to CBS46. Senate Bill 153, which the Governor is expected to sign into law, will make Georgia the first state to pass regulations for this industry.
Under the new law, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) will take charge of regulating crime scene clean-up companies. According to CBS46, companies will be required to register with the Georgia Environmental Department (EPD), carry proper insurance, and employ technicians that are background checked, finger printed, and drug screened.
The law comes three years after a CBS46 investigation into crime scene clean-up revealed that the absence of regulations in the industry was resulting in unprofessional and damaging behavior by some companies. CBS46 found that members of one business were taking light-hearted photographs with victims’ personal belongings, and many felt such actions reflected a lack of respect for the solemn work of crime scene cleanup.
Gordy Powell runs a crime scene clean-up company called Georgia Clean that has been involved in the push for greater industry regulations at the state capitol. He says he is aware of problems ensuing when companies operate without standards and oversight. In an interview with CBS46, Powell explained, “Sadly, there have been instances where a cleaning company goes in and they raffle through the personal belongings, jewelry goes missing, a personal identity has been taken.”
CBS46 reports Powell and others in his company and industry support the new law and plan to work with the GBI on the specific regulations that will be put in place, but the law and others like it to come are likely to receive pushback from many in the industry who feel more government oversight and licensing fees will hurt the industry.
Georgia may be the first state to adopt such regulations, but more will likely follow in the coming years, bringing changes to the wider trauma and crime scene clean-up industry.