Our first responders put their lives on the line every day to make Virginia a safe place to live. We owe it to them to provide the tools they need to do their jobs effectively. In the state Senate I have fought hard to spare our sheriffs, police, and firefighters from devastating budget cuts. Especially in these difficult economic times, it is important that we are prepared to combat criminal activity in our Commonwealth.
However, being smart on crime is just as important as being tough on crime. We need to take low cost steps to help Virginia's finest do their jobs: keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, utilize drug courts and jail diversion to keep non-violent offenders from being incarcerated at taxpayer expense, and work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws, rather than diverting scarce state and local resources from other responsibilities.
In addition, I will work hard to strengthen the relationships Virginia has with the Armed Services. The Commonwealth's military installations are critical to maintaining America's national security, and as the Senator representing Naval Station Norfolk I understand what the military means to our economy. As a U.S. Army veteran, I also understand the challenges that our servicemen and women face every day. I am committed to helping government work for them, and for the thousands of retired military personnel living across Virginia.