NORFOLK, Va. - News 3 investigator Jessica Larché took Gov. Glenn Youngkin to task regarding gun violence in Hampton Roads.
Jessica pressed Youngkin about the violence affecting our communities while he was in Downtown Norfolk at an economic development event Thursday. Here's what he said when asked about possibly calling in the National Guard to help stop the violence:
"So, this is more of a role for our state police to cooperate with local law enforcement. And so, what we have seen particularly in in Petersburg - where we've already started an experiment - is to have more state police resources, cooperating with local resources. And we've seen great results. And so, this is our first model - which is to actually use resources that are trained in law enforcement.. that have far more expertise in law enforcement to play this role," Youngkin said.
When asked what he'd say to families who have lost loved ones and are afraid to go outside, the governor said he understands that people in Hampton Roads and across the country are "absolutely heartbroken and scared," and said his administration is working to come up with a collaborative approach with state, local and federal resources.
Youngkin said there not only must be an increase in police presence, but law enforcement must "arrest, prosecute and put people in jail who are committing crimes and not let them back out on the streets."
He also said local governments must provide opportunities for our youth to participate in positive things.
"These are short-term things that we can get moving on right now. Because we know it matters right now, not a day goes by where we are not trying to find ways to increase resources and provide more support from the localities. This is hugely important," Youngkin said.
The governor highlighted that there is $400 million in the state budget that will help fund raises and retention for local law enforcement. As our investigative team has previously reported, vacancies are plaguing nearly every police department in Hampton Roads.
You can watch Jessica's full interview with the governor above.