Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin announced Monday a new initiative to recruit and retain police officers in the commonwealth.
The announcement of “Operation Bold Blue Line” was made in Norfolk, Virginia, with local leaders and law enforcement from across the state. The new operation aims to reduce violent crime and address vacant police positions in the state of Virginia. according to a press release.
“Across Virginia, people are waking up and turning on the morning news to hear story after story of violence in their communities: murders, shootings and aggravated assaults,” Youngkin said in a statement. “With a law enforcement vacancy rate of nearly 40% in some Virginia cities, too few prosecutors actually prosecuting, and with reduced community engagement and witnesses less willing to come forward, Virginia’s blue line is becoming too thin.”
“Operation Bold Blue Line” was created in coordination with the State Violent Crime Task Force.
Youngkin said the initiative includes five key actions:
- providing higher pay to existing police officers
- recruiting and supporting new officers
- support for officers with training and equipment
- ensuring that officers are supported by prosecutors
- providing witness resources and community programs that help prevent violent crime
Over the next two years, the state said it will invest $13 million in new crime prevention measures. It will also invest millions in police recruitment, training and equipment.