A bill passed by a Senate committee last week would set more restrictive guidelines for the use of no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement to enter residences without a verbal command or knock on the door.
The bill comes on the heels of a case in Habersham County that drew national attention last year when the sheriff’s office there used a no-knock warrant on a drug bust and burned a baby with a flash grenade. The suspect was not at the residence at the time.
The bill would require review of no-knock warrants by a supervising officer and special training for officers to execute such warrants.
Law enforcement would also need probable cause to obtain such warrants, rather than just a suspicion.
Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said he supports the bill, calling no-knock warrants “inherently dangerous” for both officers and suspects.
Couch said the use of no-knock warrants in Hall County is exceedingly rare, and that “you should have some extra hurdles to jump” before taking that course of action.