NORFOLK, Virginia — On Thursday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said millions in the budget are going directly to fighting the spike in gun violence across the Commonwealth and here in Hampton Roads.
He stopped in Norfolk and talked about a new task force to combat crime.
“We are at a 20-year high in murder rate in Virginia and it has been escalating out of control last year,” said Gov. Youngkin.
Increasing death tolls and violent crime scenes across Hampton Roads are driving state leaders to step up.
“We are all aware and I think heartbroken and scared of what’s going on in our communities,” Youngkin said.
Younkin said he’s created a task force to tackle spikes in gun violence across the state and said that starts with staffing up police departments.
“We need more feet on the street. We need more patrols,” Youngkin said.
He said the task force is also working to add more programs for youth to get involved in. He wants to see gun violence offenders get proper jail time.
“If they are committing a crime with a gun, there should be a more extreme prosecution,” Youngkin said.
Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander said people in the community can also help stop the traumatic cycle.
“If there is a situation in your home, in a community where a person has a gun and you know that that person should not be in a possession of a firearm, please report it,” said Mayor Alexander.
Youngkin said relief is on the way.
“These are short-term solutions that we know we can get on right now because we know it matters right now,” Youngkin said.
Mayor Alexander said Norfolk Interim Police Chief Mike Goldsmith also sat in on several of the governor’s violent crime taskforce meetings.