MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares discussed how his office can help local law enforcement agencies on Friday afternoon.
Since taking office back in January, Miyares has made it one of his goals to strengthen the relationship with law enforcement.
Miyares started by having a roundtable discussion with various sheriffs, deputies, and officers from Southside counties.
“I just think it’s so important not to be in a Richmond bubble. And so I love getting out on the road. I love hearing directly from law enforcement, directly from our seniors, and directly from our citizens ... what are your challenges? What are you seeing? How can Richmond work better for you,” Miyares said.
One of the biggest challenges the state and in particular Southside is seeing are upticks in drug cases. '
“Some of the big issues facing here is we have a drug crisis. So many fellow Virginians are suffering from addiction. So, they want to get help going after the drug dealers. They want to get help going after the repeat violent offenders to get them off their street. So we’re both talking collaboratively about what they’re seeing and what we can do,” Miyares said.
Carroll County Sheriff Kevin Kemp discussed the multitude of drug worries.
“We’re battling methamphetamines. You’re battling prescription drug problems. Fentanyl has become more of a problem,” Kemp said.
The sheriff said he is very appreciative for Miyares to come down to the city of Martinsville in person.
“To take the time out of his day, the life that he has got going on where he’s needed in every aspect across this state, to take time to come to the area that he’s in right now to meet with us means he cares not only about people in northern Virginia. That cares about people in Southside…he cares about all,” Kemp said.
Miyares is looking to help with the drug crisis throughout the state by hiring new prosecutors to cover specific areas to go after repeat offenders. He also said he wants to make sure law enforcement is protected.
“They brought up issues. They were concerned about getting rid of qualified immunity. So many of their officers would quit the force if we got rid of qualified immunity,” Miyares said.
The Attorney General still wants to work towards strengthening the relationship. However, Kemp said the man has been doing it since he stepped into office.
“I’ve been doing this job as law enforcement up to my position as Sheriff for 24 years. This is the first time in my years of service that I’ve actually had an attorney general’s office so involved in law enforcement,” Kemp said.
On Friday Miyares also met with seniors in Martinsville to discuss some of the scams and threats they see. He finished up his day with remarks down at the Galax Fiddlers Convention.