Virginia Commonwealth Attorney General’s Office
Mark Herring Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street Richmond, Virginia 23219
For media inquiries only, contact:
Charlotte Gomer, Communications Director
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
~ Roanoke, Petersburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond have all entered into memorandums of understanding with the OAG and each will receive $300,000 in funding; Last summer, Herring got $2.5 million for community gun violence prevention efforts~
RICHMOND (January 14, 2022) – Six localities will receive funding from the Attorney General’s Office for community-based gun violence prevention programs after Attorney General Mark R. Herring secured $2.5 million from the U.S. bailout to go to Commonwealth communities who have been hardest hit by gun violence. Roanoke, Petersburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond all have memorandums of understanding with the Bureau. Under the terms of the memorandums of understanding, each locality will receive $300,000 from the Office which will be used to implement evidence-based violence reduction initiatives and programs in their communities.
“Too many of our communities in Virginia know the devastating effects of gun violence and the ripple effect it can have. Gun violence is not just mass shootings, but more often than not, it is single shootings and acts of violence that can have lasting consequences for families and communities. » noted Attorney General Herring. “Community-based intervention and prevention initiatives have proven effective in reducing gun violence, and I look forward to seeing what these communities are able to accomplish. The only way we can truly end gun violence in our communities is if we all work together and invest in the right programs for each locality.
Localities have already begun to do their own community assessments to better inform these data-driven initiatives and programs that they will dedicate this funding to. Each community faces its own set of issues, so localities will decide what strategies would be best to address issues in their own communities, and with support or technical assistance from the Attorney General’s Office.
During this summer’s Special Session, the General Assembly passed Attorney General Herring’s funding request authorizing the Attorney General’s office to fund community-based gun violence prevention programs across the Commonwealth in the most vulnerable communities. affected by armed violence. Ahead of the special legislative session, Attorney General Herring proposed that $2.5 million of the US bailout be dedicated to community-based gun violence prevention programs in communities across the Commonwealth.
Following the adoption of Attorney General Herring’s funding application, he organized a series of roundtables on gun violence prevention across the Commonwealth. At the roundtables, he heard from local law enforcement, community leaders and gun violence prevention advocates about community-based gun violence prevention programs that have been effective in their areas, how the prosecutor General and his team can better support initiatives already underway and what other programs or initiatives are needed in the regions.
Throughout this process, Attorney General Herring and his team have worked with local community violence prevention advocates, law enforcement and other stakeholders to help develop and implement implements programs that emphasize awareness, prevention and intervention, while promoting evidence-based practices.
Previous violence reduction efforts led by Attorney General Herring’s office have yielded significant results in Richmond and Norfolk. A multi-year gun violence reduction project in Norfolk saw a 19% reduction in violent crime and a 25% reduction in homicides. Additionally, two phases of a similar campaign in Richmond contributed to a 50% decrease in homicides and an average 30% decrease in violent crime in priority neighborhoods.
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