Richmond, VA – Today, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) applauded the Youngkin administration’s announcement of “Operation Bold Blue Line,” a new effort to combat violent crime in Virginia by investing in law enforcement, victims and witness services, and community programs aimed at supporting at-risk youth.
AFP-VA Legislative Director Ben Knotts issued the following statement in response to Governor Youngkin’s announcement:
“The United States is experiencing an unprecedented rise in violent crime, and the Commonwealth has not been immune to this troubling trend.
“Overwhelming evidence shows that a combination of government and community-based solutions is the most effective strategy for improving public safety. So, it is encouraging to see the Youngkin administration announce investments and support for both.
“Violence prevention efforts fail without buy-in from community leaders and adequate support for community programs. Crime is an incredibly local issue, and it is critical that policymakers understand that government solutions alone are not enough to tackle it. Success will depend on recognizing the important role communities play and making them part of the solution.
“We look forward to working with the Youngkin administration, state and local government, and community leaders on this critical issue.”
AFP is a proud partner of Public Safety Solutions for America, a newly formed coalition focused on reducing violent crime through evidence-based strategies. The coalition is centered around four key principles proven to effectively reduce violent crime:
Properly Fund Police- The evidence is clear: Smart investments in police can have significant impacts on lowering crime, particularly violent crime. Law enforcement agencies must have necessary resources to recruit, retain, and train quality officers in order to keep our streets safe.
Focus Time and Resources on Preventing and Solving Serious Crime- Police are tasked with too many things outside their core functions of protecting public safety and serving the public. Community organizations should play a leading role in societal issues such as drug addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness to allow police to spend more time focusing on violent and property crimes.
Focus on Evidence-Based Policies That Reduce Violent Crime- There are proven approaches to prevent violent crime from happening in the first place. Cities like Boston, Cincinnati, and Dallas have implemented strategies such as focused deterrence, urban blight reduction, and increased community programs and services with positive results on public safety.
Continue to Enact Smart on Crime Policies- States such as Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma have shown that investing in prison alternatives such as drug and other specialty courts, focusing jail and prison bed space on dangerous individuals, and increasing work and educational opportunities for those in the criminal justice system can reduce recidivism and allow communities to thrive.