Richmond, Va. (WRIC) – Governor Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced new campaigns on Monday, Oct. 17 aimed at reducing violence throughout the commonwealth that will cost over $120 million in total.
On Monday, Youngkin announced Operation Bold Blue Line, which is described as “a series of concrete actions to reduce homicides, shootings, and violent crime.”
Operation Bold Blue Line is focused on supporting police departments throughout the state by improving pay, recruiting and training. This is in respond to an overall decrease in police across the state, according to Youngkin. According to the Office of the Governor, some Virginia cities law enforcements vacancy rates approaching 40%.
“Across Virginia, people wake up and turn on the morning news to hear story after story of violence in their communities: homicides, shootings, and aggravated assaults,” Youngkin said. “Virginia’s blue line is getting far too thin.”
Operation Bold Blue Line aims to increase these numbers with a heavy focus on police recruitment and training. In addition to launching both state and nationwide recruiting efforts, the operation will also introduce an 8-week “fast-tracked” training academy for law enforcement, and will create “Badge & Degree” programs for students interested in joining Virginia law enforcement.
The program is estimated to cost over $100 million, with $13 million going towards violence invention efforts, $30 million to recruiting and $75 million to equipment and training.
Also on Monday, Miyares announced “Operation Ceasefire,” which will work to address violent criminal activity among repeat violent offenders.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, Operation Ceasefire will reduce violent crime by supporting crime prevention programs, raising money for victim protection funds, supporting police in high crime neighborhoods and prosecuting repeat offenders.
The General Assembly allocated $5 million for Operation Ceasefire earlier this year, and it is expected to be fully funded this winter, according to the office of the Attorney General.
Miyares is partnering with several cities for this campaign, including Richmond and Petersburg. For Richmond in particular, these announcements come after a weekend of violence in the City.