LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — Attorney General Jason Miyares was in Lynchburg on Tuesday to talk about the progress of the initiative Operation Ceasefire.
Operation Ceasefire is aimed at reducing violent crime through prosecution and community intervention, specifically targeting serious and repeat offenders.
Miyares launched it last year in a number of cities across Virginia, including Lynchburg, Roanoke, Danville, and Martinsville.
He said now, they are fully ramped up with staffing, are distributing grant money, and have already launched over 70 active cases.
Miyares said data shows violent crime is overwhelmingly driven by a small percentage of repeat violent offenders.
He said a key component of Operation Ceasefire is focusing on that group.
"It makes sense if you want to lower violent crime, you go after that 2 to 5%, that is overwhelmingly driving, and are the repeat offenders," Miyares said.
He said another key part is making sure that law enforcement has the right data.
Prevention is another major component, making sure that young people don't fall into illegal activity.
Operation Ceasefire involves collaboration with local and federal law enforcement.
U.S. Attorney for the western district Christopher Kavanaugh said that's a must.
"Everyone up here agrees that there is a problem in our communities in Virginia, and we are all dedicated to solving it and we do that by working together," Kavanaugh said.
The collaboration doesn't end with law enforcement though.
Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney, Bethany Harrison, said they need your help too.
"We need the citizens of Lynchburg, the citizens of this Commonwealth, anyone who is witnessing a crime, we need you to call it in, we need you to come to court and testify about what you saw. We can't do it alone," Harrison said.
The General Assembly allocated $5 million for Operation Ceasefire last year.
"It means that our office is better able to tackle this issue that is affecting so many Virginians and make sure that victims indeed have a voice," Miyares said.