The Commonwealth returns tax dollars to localities to help fund police departments.  This is known as 599 money based on the bill that authorized the funding years ago.  It was initiated when a moratorium was placed on annexation to help localities recoup some of the funds lost without annexation.  This funding has become a very important part of budgets for police departments around the Commonwealth.

This vital funding source is under attack.

Over the last three years, localities have helped the state deal with their budget shortfalls through reduced funding for many important services.  The state now predicts a surplus and sees additional money in next year’s budget.  If this is real money, why ask police to do with less!

I was told that there is one small town that will have to eliminate their department if these cuts go through.  Others may not be able to maintain twenty four hour coverage.

When speaking to our legislators I compared this ill thought out proposal to the federal budget and military.  As we look at cutting our federal debut, most will agree that our men and women in the military deserve the best equipment and funding.  When we ask these individuals to put themselves in harms way to defend and protect us, we owe them no less.

The same is true with the State of Virginia and our police.  These men and women deserve our complete support.  Every day they face unknown dangers.  No one understands this more than those of us here in Blacksburg.

To not completely fund the commitment made by the Commonwealth to our men and women in uniform is just no acceptable.

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