Great news from the Gillespie campaign this morning as the new gang prevention plan has hit the press, and there is truly some amazing stuff in here.

…so amazing, that the Northam crowd felt compelled to protest.  Literally.

Who knew there was a pro-gang violence contingent among progressives?

From the press release:

“Providing for public safety is an essential responsibility of government, and one that must be addressed with the utmost seriousness,” said Ed Gillespie. “As governor, I will coordinate efforts between our partners in federal, state and local law enforcement to put in place policies that will combat gangs in Virginia, reduce crime, and provide support for the brave men and women who selflessly serve their communities to make our Commonwealth safer for ALL Virginians.”

Speaking about the policy Honorary Policy Chair and former governor George Allen said, “Ed knows that public safety along with education is a top responsibility of state government. In the two decades since our Administration achieved the enactment of Truth-in-Sentencing ‎reforms Virginians have benefited from one of the very lowest violent crime rates and the lowest repeat offender rates in the nation. There’s no rational reason to backslide into criminal apologist approaches which would endanger Virginians. I know Ed Gillespie will be a strong governor who will seriously crack down on current public safety challenges emanating from gang violence.”

“As a former Secretary of Public Safety and Attorney General of Virginia, I am proud to support Ed’s plan for Virginia,” said Former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. “He understands that if we do not take action to eradicate gang violence now, it will grow into more communities. We need immediate action and Ed will bring important leadership and experience to Virginia’s public safety agencies. Ed will be a strong governor who will put the public safety first.”

Some of the highlights:

  • Increased compensation to Virginia law enforcement officers: The method?  Establishing a statewide pay band… (please do this for education!)
  • Commitment to the Line of Duty Act: This is legislation that will take care of the families of those who fall in the line of duty, passed by the Republican General Assembly last year and in need of implementation by the next Governor’s Office.
  • Reinstate Project Exile:  This was an Allen-administration reform enacted in 1997 that worked with state and federal officials to crack down on violent crime, enforcing federal gun laws against criminal gang members and drug dealers.
  • Securing More Funds For The Northern Virginia Task Force:  Congresswoman Comstock recently secured more resources for the task force, and as governor, Gillespie will commit to working towards making such funding permanent.
  • Banning Sanctuary Cities in Virginia: This will shock most folks, but as of right now — today — every locality in Virginia is a “sanctuary city”.  Why?  Because of Virginia’s Dillon Rule and the separation of powers (and those who tell you otherwise are lying to you for political gain).  As governor, Gillespie will break the impass and sign legislation that will require (not recommend) localities to collaborate with federal immigration enforcement.
  • Reform the “predicate criminal act” definition to contain all felonies and violent misdemeanors:  THIS IS A BIG DEAL.  One to keep our eyes on as it moves through the General Assembly… this would consolidate over 50 pieces of the Code of Virginia under one statute to prosecute gang-related violence, making it easier to tackle groups like MS-13.
  • Recommit to “Truth in Sentencing” and end the McAuliffe-Northam flirtation with paroling violent offenders:  Governor Allen was instrumental in ending parole for violent criminals; as governor, Gillespie will recommit to Truth in Sentencing and ensure that violent criminals do the time proscribed by law.
  • Functionally End Human Trafficking in Virginia:  It’s time… the long term strategy of the Commonwealth can no longer be just about treating the symptoms of crime.  As governor, Gillespie will work with the Attorney General to make Virginia a dead zone for human trafficking.
  • Top-to-bottom review of VITA:  Enhancing Virginia’s cybersecurity should be a priority.  Gillespie will enact a top to bottom review of Virginia’s preparedness against cyber attack.

The more exhaustive list of Gillespie’s public safety and gang prevention agenda can be found on the Gillespie website.  To date, it is perhaps one of his more ambitious and forward-looking proposals for hard pressed areas such as Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, but does not neglect the rural parts of Virginia by introducing a statewide pay band — sorely needed and welcome news indeed.