Virginia Gov. Youngkin forms task force to take on violent crime

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced the creation of a task force to craft policies to combat violent crime. 

The task force will be formed within the state attorney general’s office with input from several other agencies and local governments across Virginia.

“We will take a comprehensive look at how we can address the rise in violent crime by providing more law enforcement resources, creating alternative and after-school activities for children, and addressing the fear that results in witnesses failing to show up for a criminal hearing,” Mr. Youngkin said on Monday when announcing the initiative. 

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bob Mosier and Chief Deputy Attorney General Chuck Slemp will take the lead on the task force, which will offer strategic recommendations to the governor as it studies crime rates.

Attorney General Jason Miyares stressed the use of partnerships with local governments to address the root causes of the spike in violent crime. 

“There’s not a one size fits all approach to combating crime in the Commonwealth,” Mr. Miyares said. “It requires collaboration and communication with law enforcement, local officials, and community leaders.”

Mr. Youngkin said that fighting crime remained a top priority for his administration despite Virginia mostly escaping the nationwide spike in violent crime that began during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crime in Virginia declined during the pandemic. The state police reported that crime dropped 1.9% from 16,018 violent crimes reported in 2019 to 15,713 reported in 2020.

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