Our law enforcement officers have some of the toughest, most stressful, and often thankless jobs in the Commonwealth. I will work to support and protect these officers. For instance, Virginia should provide a presumption of disability to our correctional officers when they apply for workers’ compensation. Right now, 13 of Virginia’s 14 categories of law enforcement officers get that presumption. The one exception is correctional officers. Correctional officers go to work everyday in unimaginably dangerous conditions. One false move could mean the difference between life and death. So if they have a heart attack, why would we not presume it to be a result of their working conditions? Closing this loophole is just one example of how we can better respect the important work that they do. We also need to provide our law enforcement with the resources and training necessary to meaningfully connect to the people they serve, encouraging the building of trust so that we can better safeguard our community.

I am proud of the ways that Virginia supports our men and women in uniform and our veterans. Programs like our Troops to Teachers program and our Military Medics and Corpsmen Program provide opportunities for our veterans to transition into our classrooms and our healthcare industry. I will work to continue funding for these programs. Virginia has also led the nation in reducing veteran homelessness, but it is an ongoing problem that we must continue to address.

Those who serve and protect us deserve our support. I honor the work that our law enforcement does and am humbled by our service members' readiness to sacrifice everything for our freedoms.