Public Safety

Ensuring safe communities is a core function of government. As Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, I stand in support of our men and women in blue that put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve. Last year the General Assembly made record investments to boost law enforcement pay and ensure that we appropriately train and equip individuals that are willing to serve. We also invested in proven crime prevention programs like Operation Ceasefire. However, we must continue to build on these investments.   

Historically, the Commonwealth’s violent crime and recidivism rate has been among the lowest, but we have not been immune to the national trend of rising crime rates and some soft on crime policies adopted under Democrat rule have likely been a contributing factor. We need a criminal justice system that is fair and transparent, but not one that disregards crime victims or the policies that make Virginians safer.

There have been bipartisan calls from local officials to unwind some of the most damaging policies that have tied the hands of law enforcement and made it easier for violent criminals to be released from jail. Ill-conceived policies restricting law enforcement from making traffic stops for critical safety violations and the removal of the presumption against bail for those accused of violent acts are just a few examples of the policies making our communities less safe. We must also get serious about the Fentanyl crisis by coming down hard on those distributing and dealing this dangerous poison.  

Finally, we must continue to expand the work that has been done to improve mental health services, particularly for those in crisis.  Proactively providing these services to individuals suffering from mental health disorders and substance abuse will work to avoid future entanglement with the criminal justice system. I’ve been proud to support and patron a number of initiatives to further this goal.