RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — When the Virginia General assembly convenes for next week’s special session, it will have a request from Mark Herring.
The Virginia attorney general is asking for $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to be used for gun violence prevention programs in the commonwealth.
“We have a gun violence problem in this country and Hampton Roads is not immune from it,” Herring said. “The impact of gun violence is wide-ranging and certainly the human cost is staggering.”
The prevention programs will be community-based. Herring’s office plans to work with law enforcement agencies and local community organizations to support officers assigned to these projects.
“It’s really in everyone’s interest to come together,” Herring added.
Herring started similar programs in Norfolk and Richmond years ago, but they ended when the money ran out.
“In the time period we had funding for the program in Norfolk, we were able to reduce violent crime almost 20% and homicides 30%,” Herring said.
The programs would focus on getting community members engaged, outreach and intervene when violence does take place.
“We know that an act of gun violence has ripple effects all through a community,” Herring added. “If you know someone who has been a victim of gun violence or someone in your household or down the street, it really has an impact on you and trauma for the community.”
Herring also plans to have round table discussions in the areas that need it most. He wants to mold each program to make sure the needs are met.