State Police Association's 40th anniversary banquet
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -
The commonwealth's commander-in-chief stopped in Albemarle County Saturday night to celebrate the State Police Association's 40th anniversary.
Governor Terry McAuliffe says his administration is focused on honoring the commitment he made to support the police force.
“I promised things to you and I'm here today to tell you I'm delivering on those promises, but we've got an awful long way to go,” he said.
McAuliffe told the crowd at the banquet that his budget proves that dedication.
“Let's close the coverage gap. I compromised and said let's do it for two years when the federal government is paying 100 percent - no risk to us,” he said. “We'll save $225 million from our budget. That's how I can do two percent pay raises for all state employees. I do $17 million for line of duty, for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.”
The association's executive director, Wayne Huggins, says the police force naturally develops a connection with the governor.
“From the moment the governor is elected to the moment the governor leaves office, the governor is surrounded by state police officers and that creates a special bond and a special relationship,” Huggins said.
He believes McAuliffe has kept his word to address some of the association's needs.
“He made us promises last year and he has so far delivered on those promises - opening communication to begin addressing some of our quality of life needs, some of the operational budget needs - and he has done exactly that in his first 75 days of office,” Huggins said.
The governor brought up the budget battle going on right now in Richmond. He says if lawmakers supported Medicaid expansion, Virginia would have more money to fund agencies, including the state police.
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