Virginia Attorney General discusses ‘Operation Ceasefire,’ resources for localities plagued by gun violence

The initiative focuses on prosecuting repeat, violent offenders

ROANOKE, Va. – The latest shooting in Roanoke marks the 17th deadly shooting this year, already matching last year’s number of deadly shootings, with still five more months to go.

Roanoke is also one of the 12 areas where Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ “Operation Ceasefire” is taking place.

The initiative focuses on gang prevention and getting repeat violent offenders off the streets.

“Study after study shows that roughly three to five percent of violent offenders are committing over 50% of the violent crime. The quickest, most effective way to lower violent crime if you go after those three to five percent of repeat violent offenders and you get them off the street,” Miyares told 10 News.

Governor Glenn Youngkin has shown his support for Operation Ceasefire and Operation Bold Blue Line, which offers more grant funding to local law enforcement to fight crime and purchase new technology to help.

“I am tired. Families are tired of watching our young people die of violence committed with guns,” Youngkin said on Tuesday night during a National Night Out event in Hampton Roads.

One of the biggest hurdles law enforcement has said they face are witnesses of crimes being fearful to come forward.

That’s why Miyares started the first-of-it-kind witness protection program this year as a part of Operation Ceasefire.

“So these witnesses, if they need protection or they need to get out of town, we are able to get them those resources,” Miyares said. “A very similar model to the federal witness protection program is. So we’ve launched that now in Virginia to allow people to testify because if you don’t have witnesses willing to testify you can’t get convictions.”

Governor Youngkin said since the start of these initiatives, more than 800 felony arrests have been made and over 2,000 pounds of illegal narcotics have been taken off the streets.

About the Author

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.