Hackworth said rural southwestern Virginia counties rely on a limited number of sheriff’s deputies to enforce laws, protect courts and prisons and keep people with mental illness in emergency detention until psychiatric treatment is available.
“They are severely understaffed,” he said.
Northam and the Assembly’s budget leaders had proposed $ 1,000 risk bonuses for MPs, regional prison officers and correctional officers, but they devised a much richer compensation package for police to He state recruits and retains agents to fill more than 330 vacant positions.
The plan for state policing called for $ 20 million this year and $ 20 million in the first year of the next budget, pending the results of a compensation study due Oct. 1. Northam also promised to come up with continuous increases with state funds in the second year of the budget.
“We are proud to have introduced an appropriation bill that prioritizes funding for many hardworking Virginia first responders, including bonuses for state police, correctional officers, deputy sheriffs and staff. of direct care, ”Northam said in a joint statement Wednesday with House Credits Chairman Luke Torian, D-Prince William, and Senate Finance Chairman Janet Howell, D-Fairfax.
“While this funding is extremely important, we also recognize the need for a long-term solution to the ongoing staffing issues,” they said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.