Anderson: Virginia Republicans are supporting our law enforcement officers with increased funding, not just lip service. | Columnists

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Richard L. Anderson

There are over 800,000 law enforcement officers in the United States. As we celebrate National Police Week this week, we seek to honor those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.

During the months of April, May and June 2020, the number of law enforcement officers who left their jobs increased by 24% across the country, even as urban areas across the country were set on fire by violent demonstrators.

As elected Virginia Democrats and their enablers agitated for defunding the police and revoking qualified immunity, many realized that the very politicians who were supposed to support them were now abandoning them.

“Defund the Police” has become a rallying cry for the far left. Democrats continue to preach this even today, refusing to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who wake up every day with a heart to serve and protect us. Some Democratic politicians have backed down — but only because of political reality, the response of an alarmed public, and the realization that their political survival requires strategic withdrawal.

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In September 2020, President Biden said he would not take funds away from police departments, but instead would divert law enforcement funding to other community projects to ease the burden on the forces. from police. Although this may seem like a sensible policy, an alarming number of his party continued to take a stand against law enforcement.

For example, the New York City Police Department was cut by over a billion dollars. Since then, the city’s crime rate has increased exponentially and shootings have increased dramatically.

The nationwide murder rate has risen 30% since the start of the Democrat-led Defund the Police movement. It is not a coincidence. This is a clear case of cause and effect. And it happened in a number of Democratic-run cities across the United States.

The Democratic political class at the federal and state level is now in disarray, struggling to recover from his narrative which, in addition to representing a morally bankrupt political position, has alienated most Americans. Simply put, Americans don’t and shouldn’t trust Democrats with their security.

Here in Virginia, Governor Glenn Youngkin has called for increased funding for law enforcement. In April, he donated his first quarter salary of $43,750 to a fund that supports law enforcement and first responders. In January 2022, Governor Youngkin also proposed a plan to increase state funding for local departments by $26 million.

With the diminishing protection of our communities by law enforcement, crime has increased dramatically and the most vulnerable among us are at high risk. Defunding the police has led to a drop in the morale of our sworn and badged law enforcement heroes and produced an accelerated number of early retirements and resignations, all resulting from significantly reduced capacity in our police departments. , our sheriff’s offices and related agencies.

The only way to keep communities safe again is to ensure that law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth have the funding they need to train, equip and equip their agencies to protect themselves and their communities. For our communities to thrive, elected officials and the bodies in which they serve must fully invest in Virginia law enforcement, not divert and starve them of resources.

Republicans have always supported the Long Blue Line which fights every day to protect us. Our Commonwealth and our country have suffered the adverse effects of diminishing support from partisan politicians for law enforcement, so imagine life without the protection of law enforcement. Who would you call if a burglar or killer broke into your home? Contemplating this simple question leads to only one conclusion.

This week, our hearts are filled with gratitude for our law enforcement officers and we take time to reflect on our good fortune to have over 800,000 brave men and women working every day to protect us. They deserve our lasting recognition and the appropriate resources to do their job. Virginia Republicans pledge to do no less.

Anderson, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, is a retired Air Force colonel of 30 years and a member of the Virginia General Assembly for eight years.

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