Repost from The Virginia Star.
Governor Glenn Youngkin called for increased funding to support law enforcement and partnerships with localities as part of the administration’s Monday announcement of Operation Bold Blue Line. The proposals were the result of his violent crime task force, which he said found Virginia lacks law enforcement officers, prosecutors, programs for at-risk youth, and support for witnesses and victims.
“It’s often said that our law enforcement heroes represent a thin blue line,” he said in a speech outside a City of Norfolk Library alongside Attorney General Jason Miyares and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears.
“Friends, with nearly 40 percent law enforcement vacancy rates in some cities, with too few prosecutors actually prosecuting, with diminished community engagement and witnesses and victims less willing to come forward, that thin blue line is getting far too thin.”
Youngkin listed five actions Virginia needs: to address law enforcement pay compression; recruit officers from outside the state and develop more local talent; provide more training and equipment; make sure that prosecutors back up law enforcement; and provide more resources to victims and witnesses while funding community partnerships.
Earlier this year, the Virginia State Police Crime in Virginia 2021 report found that overall crime was down last year compared to previous years. Violent crime in 2021 was higher than 2020 and lower than 2019.
On Monday, Youngkin also highlighted the importance of support from local officials, with Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander introducing the administration, and attending officials including Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham.
Youngkin touted a recently announced partnership with Petersburg as an example. He said that was focused on a concern over rising violent crime.