RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — As he continued his ‘Thank You, Virginia’ tour on Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that his proposed two-year state budget will include the largest dollar investment in public safety in the Commonwealth’s history.

According to a statement from the governor’s office on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Northam is proposing pay increases for Virginia state troopers, correctional officers, deputy sheriffs, and regional jail officers. This builds on the governor’s record of law enforcement pay raises over the past four years. 

“Law enforcement officers carry a heavy burden as they work to protect Virginians, and this raise is the right thing to do,” said Northam. “Virginia is committed to training officers, funding alternative response systems, and investing in communities. It is also important that our officers are paid enough to create a positive work environment free from as much stress and burnout as possible. This raise and increased funding is a huge step forward.” 

Under the governor’s proposal, officials say newly-sworn state troopers will receive a 7.7 percent pay raise; the starting salary for new correction officers will increase by 25 percent; and the average entry-level salary for deputy sheriffs and regional jail officials will increase by approximately 20 percent.

In addition, Northam’s budget reportedly includes significant funding to address pay compression and provide extra raises to a range of targeted officers and sworn personnel.

“I am proud of the men and women in law enforcement who work tirelessly to keep us safe,” Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran said. “Governor Northam’s proposed budget will significantly improve our law enforcement institutions, the safety of our communities, and encourage more young people to join Virginia’s talented pool of public safety officers.”

The governor’s office says Virginia gave one-time bonuses of $3,000 to $5,000 to public safety officials in 2021, as well as a one-time $500 bonus in 2020.

“I want to thank Governor Northam for continuing to prioritize Virginia law enforcement,” said Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Gary T. Settle. “The bonuses and pay raises given to public safety officials every year during the Governor’s term have boosted morale and changed lives. This announcement comes just in time for the holidays and will mean so much to all of the officers and their families.”

Northam made the announcement at the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial in Richmond on Tuesday morning.

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