Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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SIX LOCALITIES TO RECEIVE OAG FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY-BASED GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS

~ Roanoke, Petersburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond have all entered into MOU’s with the OAG and each will receive $300,000 in funding; Last summer, Herring secured $2.5 million to go towards community-based gun violence prevention efforts ~

RICHMOND (January 14, 2022) – Six localities will receive funding from the Office of the Attorney General for community-based gun violence prevention programs after Attorney General Mark R. Herring secured $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to go towards communities across the Commonwealth that have been the hardest hit by gun violence. Roanoke, Petersburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond have all entered into Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Office. Under the terms of the MOUs, each locality will receive $300,000 from the Office that will be used to implement data-informed violence reduction initiatives and programming in their communities.

 

“Too many of our communities in Virginia know the devastating effects of gun violence and the ripple effect it can. Gun violence isn’t just the mass shootings, but more often it’s the single shootings and acts of violence that can have lasting implications for families and communities” said Attorney General Herring. “Community-based intervention and prevention initiatives have proven to be effective in reducing gun violence, and I’m looking forward to seeing what these communities are able to accomplish. The only way we truly be able to put a stop to gun violence in our communities is if we all work together and invest in the right programs for every locality.” 

 

The localities have already begun to do their own community assessments to better inform these data-driven initiatives and programs they will put this funding towards. Each community faces their own unique set of issues, which is why the localities will decide which strategies would be best to combat the issues in their own communities, and with support or technical assistance from the Office of Attorney General. 

 

During this summer’s special session, the General Assembly passed Attorney General Herring’s funding request that allowing the Office of Attorney General to fund community-based gun violence prevention programs across the Commonwealth in communities that have been most impacted by gun violence. Ahead of the special legislative session, Attorney General Herring proposed that $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan go towards community-based gun violence prevention programs in localities across the Commonwealth.

 

Following the passage of Attorney General Herring’s funding request, he hosted a series of gun violence prevention roundtable discussions across the Commonwealth. At the roundtables, he heard from local law enforcement, community leaders, and gun violence prevention advocates about community-based gun violence prevention programs that have been effective in their regions, how Attorney General and his team can better support initiatives that are already underway and what other programs or initiatives are needed in the areas.

 

Throughout this process, Attorney General Herring and his team have worked with local community violence prevention advocates, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to help develop and implement programs that emphasize outreach, prevention, and intervention, while also promoting evidence-based practices.

 

Previous violence reduction efforts led by Attorney General Herring’s office have shown significant results in Richmond and Norfolk. A multiyear gun violence reduction project in Norfolk saw a 19% reduction in violent crimes and a 25% reduction in homicides. Additionally, two phases of a similar campaign in Richmond contributed to a 50% decrease in homicides, and an average decrease of 30% in violent crimes in priority neighborhoods.

 

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