VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Checking out local organizations and the scene of a recent shooting - these were some of the stops gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin made on his visit to Virginia Beach as part of his vision on tackling crime.
"One of the challenges we have now is that Virginia has a 20-year high murder rate,” Youngkin told News 3 along the way. “We see four of our great cities in the top 65 of deadliest cities in America."
He was joined by members of law enforcement and leaders of local organizations. They spent the morning to each of the planned locations starting at the Williams Farm Recreation Center. He toured the inside of the facility.
Community members and what they’re doing, he said, are crucial to not only ensuring a safe region but also a safe state.
"What we've seen with the Williams Recreational Facility and this great community resource that's being developed by one of the churches in the community,” Youngkin said, “is watching people come together and recognize that it's going to take all of us in order to make our communities safe."
The community resource to which he was referring was a newly formed organization set up by the organization’s pastor. Youngkin also toured this facility as he was briefed that the organization was in the process of organizing school supplies to hand out to children in the community.
In his talk on crime, he mentioned how the Virginia Beach Police Department is down 100 officers.
"That’s reflective of the culture we're in right now,” Youngkin said. “We have to bring people together and stand up behind law enforcement."
He also emphasized the need to make sure police departments are well-funded and well-equipped.
"We have to invest in better equipment and better training and, yes, better salaries. We have to protect the legal frameworks that keep law enforcement officers safe as well,” Youngkin said. “On top of that, we've all got to lock arms together and do this. This is about being together."