Virginia officials, Roanoke leaders discuss violent crime solutions

Attorney General Jason Miyares, former Governor George Allen, local law enforcement, and other leaders gathered to address the issue

ROANOKE, Va. – Gathered inside the training facility for Roanoke Valley officers, state law enforcement and officials met to discuss solutions for the growing violent crime issue across the state.

“Our murder rate was the highest it’s been in two decades,” stated Attorney General Jason Miyares.

The Republican leader was joined by local law enforcement as well as former Governor George Allen, current state politicians, and current local politicians.

Accountability and collaboration were pitched as solutions by the Roanoke City and County police chiefs.

“Scrutiny and accountability for a police officer is not a bad thing either, but we have to allow our officers to do their work, we have to give them the resources and training, and the support politically, in our communities and internally to allow them to do their jobs with confidence,’ said Chief Howard Hall of Roanoke County.

“We’ve got to have strong laws that promote accountability while partnering with other entities such as our schools to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help when there are lapses in instilling personal accountability,” said Chief Sam Roman of Roanoke City.

Miyares emphatically disapproves of parole and believes some Governor Ralph Northam-era laws should be re-evaluated.

“I think we need to get protection for victim witness. I do think we need to look at how we’ve “reformed” our bail system that puts violent criminals back on the street,” Miyares said. “I think we need to make sure our officers both through pay and appreciation make it easier to recruit and retain. I think all of those combinations will help and I’m sure something we’ll be discussing in the spring.”

Roanoke was one of several stops for the Attorney General, part of his Southwest Virginia bus tour.

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.