Raymond Pratt, former general secretary and now trustee of the Police Treatment Centre in Auchterarder, said ministers' plans for "restitution orders" will help injured officers get back on the beat faster.
The Herald revealed yesterday that the new orders would see criminals found guilty of assaulting police pay cash to individual officers who have been injured, or to causes such as the Police Benevolent Fund and Treatment Centres.
Ministers are also looking to introduce a victims' surcharge, to create a fund to help victims of crime.
Between January 1, 2010, and February 28 this year, 4890 people were convicted in Scotland of assaulting police officers. The crime is punishable in Scotland by imprisonment, a Community Payback Order, fine or a compensation order.
Fines go direct to the Treasury and compensation orders to the victims, but there is concern that they are under-utilised.
Restitution orders would offer a third way for compensation to go direct to good causes or officers.
Mr Pratt, who was injured on several occasions while on duty, said: "Each time an officer is not at work through being assaulted it deprives the public of their services and forcing restitution will assist in getting an officer back serving the community quicker.
"It is a welcome initiative. Deterrent sentences are also important in cutting police assaults."
Ministers aim to bring forward legislation to create restitution orders and a victims' surcharge in the forthcoming Victims and Witnesses Bill, which will also contain a package of measures to support victims more generally.
The Scottish Police Federation (SPF) welcomed the announcement.
Calum Steele, SPF general secretary, said: "This announcement will be welcomed by all of Scotland's police officers.
"The SPF is delighted that the commitment and often selfless bravery of our police officers to ensure the safety of others is being recognised through this excellent initiative."