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Virginia’s sheriffs meet with governor, Assembly

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 4:36 PM EST
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - There were ceremonial introductions of the sheriffs watching from the gallery Monday, but the real business had started the night before, when Governor Youngkin along with the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General joined them at a reception.

“Real genuine guy, down to earth guy,” Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall said. “And really pro law enforcement, and that’s – everybody had a great time, was happy.”

As president of the sheriffs’ association, Hall not only got some face time with the state’s executives, but also with legislators he hopes will allocate some money to increase base pay for deputies.

“You know, we just lagged behind,” Hall said. “And it’s in the governor’s budget now – this was from the previous governor – about raising the pay to $42,000 a year, and then we have to bring some other people up that aren’t that level in a compression. There’s also a budget amendment I believe by Delegate Campbell to try to raise the starting deputy pay to 46,000.”

The sheriffs are also following bills to help raise funding for law enforcement retirement and speed admission in cases involving mental health issues.

“There’s people that we’re having to sit on three and four and five days in the hospital,” Hall explained, “and that’s putting a strain on our budgets, and we’re not getting compensated for that from the state and everything.”

It’s a full plate for law enforcement’s advocates.

“We’ll see,” Hall said. “I mean, there’s still a lot of work to do, and they’ve got to follow through with the things that have put in the budget and get it passed this year, so. But we have a strong belief that we’re going to have a great year this year at the session.”

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