Herschel Walker's badges have no authority, official says

Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign stop at Battle Lumber Co., Oct. 6, 2022, in Wadley, Ga. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker continues to show off his honorary sheriff’s badges. 

“I have badges all over the state of Georgia,” the University of Georgia football legend said in an interview with NBC Monday.

But the badges do not make him a Georgia law enforcement officer, according to the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.

In Georgia, any sheriff, police chief or head of a law enforcement agency can give out honorary badges, according to Terry Norris, executive director of the association.

“It has no specific law enforcement authority,” he said, and it’s “typically given to someone who supports law enforcement.”

Norris said the association recommends that whenever an honorary badge is bestowed upon a person, it’s made clear that is has no authority.

“In order to have arrest authority in our state, you must first be certified through our state’s peace officer’s training and standards council and then be hired by a sheriff’s department,” he said.

The badge issue surfaced in the Senate campaign during the debate Friday evening between incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Walker in Savannah.

During a tense exchange, Walker accused Warnock of not supporting law enforcement.

Warnock responded, “One thing I have not done, I’ve never pretended to be a police officer.” 

Walker then pulled out a badge and said, “This is real.”

Walker was scolded by the moderator for bringing a prop to the debate, which was against the rules.

The Walker campaign said the badge he pulled out was from Johnson County, Georgia.