Richmond, VA – Virginia’s new governor announced on Monday that he would donate his first quarter salary to a nonprofit law enforcement assistance program.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin appeared in front of a banner for the Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP) on April 6 and promised to donate his $43,750 paycheck to the organization, The Washington Post reported.
Youngkin, a Republican, is a multimillionaire who had pledged to donate his entire $175,000 governor’s salary if he was elected to office.
“I pledged to serve our Commonwealth without accepting a salary because I want to continue giving back to the Commonwealth and helping Virginians in every way I can,” the governor said.
Youngkin has earned more than $300 million as a Carlyle Group executive.
VALEAP’s website said the organization works to help first responders recover from “traumatic critical incidents in the line of duty or in their personal lives,” The Washington Post reported.
The group was founded in 2008 the wake of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.
The governor said in a statement that his donation “reaffirms my ongoing commitment to support our men and women in law enforcement with mental health resources, training, and equipment to ensure that we are serving those that protect our communities across the Commonwealth,” The Washington Post reported.
Youngkin established his pro-police reputation during his campaign, and then made law enforcement one of the first constituencies he met with after he was elected, WRIC reported.
He met with the Chesterfield County sheriff and Chesterfield County police for a roundtable discussion in November on 2021 and told reporters it was the first of many sessions he would conduct.
“We’re sitting here at a 20-year high in murder rate in Virginia. We see some of our great cities like Richmond ranked in the top 65 deadliest cities in America,” Youngkin said.
He laid out a Day One plan he said would include increasing law enforcement officer salaries, equipment budgets, and training, WRIC reported.
On March 2, the governor used his first veto to kill a bipartisan bill that would have allowed the Arlington County Board to hire an auditor to investigate police misconduct rather than putting the matter in the county manager’s hands, The Washington Post reported.
“The best way to ensure that any bad actors within law enforcement are held accountable is to stand up for law enforcement, not tear them down or subject them to politically-motivated inquiries,” Youngkin said in a statement after he exercised his veto last month.