Virginia Gov. Youngkin announces plan to bolster police forces, combat rising crime

"Today, I am announcing Operation Bold Blue Line, a sustained effort to comprehensively address the challenge we see happening across all our communities."

Updated: October 17, 2022 - 7:35pm

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday announced the debut of a new, statewide initiative to bolster the support of law enforcement and combat crime.

Operation Bold Blue Line aims to address wage compression issues in law enforcement, launch a major recruiting effort for local agencies, bolster training and equipment for existing departments, ensure that prosecutors work to jail violent offenders, and to expand resources available to victims of such offenses.

Wage compression refers to a situation where there is little difference in pay between employees regardless of the differences in their skills, knowledge and experience. 

"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 in a press release. "With a nearly 40% law enforcement vacancy rate in some cities in Virginia, with too few prosecutors actually prosecuting, and with diminished community engagement and witnesses less willing to come forward, Virginia's blue line is getting far too thin."

"Today, I am announcing Operation Bold Blue Line, a sustained effort to comprehensively address the challenge we see happening across all our communities," he continued. "Building on the common themes from the 14 meetings of our Violent Crimes Task Force across Virginia, together, we are taking clear, actionable steps to make our communities safer."

Youngkin highlighted the existing 250 vacancies in the Virginia State Police and underscored a $30 million investment that would fund a nationwide recruiting program to fill them.