MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Operation Bold Blue Line is the Governor’s plan to reduce homicides, shootings and violent crimes across the state. He plans to do this by supporting existing law enforcement with funding for trainings and new equipment. Another part of Operation Bold Blue Line is using $30 million to help recruit more officers to Virginia.
Martinsville Police Department is one of the agencies in our area that is receiving a portion of this money.
Chief Robert Fincher, with the Martinsville Police Department, says, “This funding is going to allow us to purchase equipment that we normally wouldn’t be able to purchase over just a regular budget. It is going to allow us to have some technology that normally an agency our size would not be able to afford.”
The money is being used to aid in criminal investigations, equipment to aid police response and to increase officer safety.
“We are going to be able to purchase some equipment that our investigators have been wanting to have for a long time and a lot of it deals with forensics,” says Chief Fincher.
In total, Operation Bold Blue Line will bring $75 million to be distributed across the Commonwealth. $568,906 will go to the Martinsville Police Department, with a potential for an additional $180,000.
One of the newest items the department was able to purchase with this funding is equipment for a real-time crime center. They set up cameras around the city at major intersections and can view the live footage from their computers.
Chief Fincher says, “With some of this technology, we can track suspect vehicles. I can enter in a tag number, and with these tag numbers, it will tell me where the car is, but it will also do predictive results.”
Eventually, each one of these real-time crime centers will be able to be accessed from a patrol car.
“Every officer will have the same information as well. It is going to be used for different camera systems, traffic cameras, that sort of thing,” says Fincher.
Part of Operation Bold Blue Line includes furthering their partnership with the Virginia State Police.
Chief Fincher says, “Our citizens have probably noticed here within the last week an increased presence with the Virginia State Police and additional personnel with their bureau of investigations.”
The Martinsville Police Department is also using this money for E-Bikes to add a bike unit.
Departments have until July 1 to make sure all equipment is in place and trainings are complete.