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VA Gov Seeks $30 Million to Recruit Police Officers From Other States

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin will ask the legislature for $30 million to mount an aggressive push to recruit police from other states, part of a broader effort to beef up law enforcement amid surging violent crime. Youngkin announced his plans in Norfolk, surrounded by police and local leaders from across the state — including some Black mayors he has been courting. Along with recruiting more officers, Youngkin seeks to boost their pay, provide them with better training and equipment, hire more prosecutors, and increase support for crime victims and witnesses, reports the Washington Post. The General Assembly has already included funding for some of those measures in the budget. For the rest, including the out-of-state recruitment effort, Youngkin must ask for the money when the legislature reconvenes in January.

The governor wrapped existing and planned programs under the name of the Operation Bold Blue Line Initiative and gave it a rollout akin to a campaign rally, with “Taking Care of Business” blaring as he made his entrance and exit. “Over the last several years, too many of our fellow Virginians have fallen victim to violent crime,” he said. “Across Virginia, people wake up and turn on their television or grab their newspaper or grab their iPhone every day and they hear horrific stories. … It makes you want to cry.” Fatal shootings in the state rose 39 percent in 2022's first seven months compared with 2019, Youngkin said. A dozen communities most afflicted by violent crime will partner with the state to address the problem. The General Assembly included $5 million in the two-year budget passed this year for “ceasefire” grants available to local gang-intervention programs. The surge in crime has been paired with shrinking police forces, Youngkin said, noting that in some cities, police vacancy rates approach 40 percent. He will seek $30 million for a “nationwide campaign to bring sworn law enforcement heroes from other states — especially states that do not support law enforcement.”


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