Gov. Youngkin ‘most concerned’ about elevated crime rate in Virginia

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2022 at 3:17 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s governor says increased police funding will help curb crime as there has been an uptick in violence across the state and Richmond.

Youngkin is pushing state lawmakers, who return to the state Capitol Wednesday, to do even more.

In Richmond, the number of homicides continues to increase, with 17 senseless deaths so far this year.

A Virginia State Police crime report from 2020 reveals that reported homicides across the commonwealth increased by 23.4% from the year prior. Still, the state did see violent crime offenses overall drop by 1.9%.

Youngkin says solving the violence problem starts with support for law enforcement. With a state budget still in flux, Youngkin says it’s critical that the lawmakers provide additional funding for pay raises, training and better equipment.

“I need a budget out of the Senate and the House so that we can provide meaningful salary increases for law enforcement, fund equipment budgets, funding training budgets. We can go to work to get violent crime down in Virginia. There’s a big step in front of us, a budget, and I need it now,” Youngkin said.

A new WalletHub study found that the homicide rate has also soared in several cities since 2020. The study calculated homicide rate increased throughout the pandemic all across the country. Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake all made the top 50 list for high homicide rates.

Police agencies in Virginia are set to get big budget increases under proposed state budgets, but lawmakers are still battling over the details with no budget still insight.

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