Commonwealth's Attorney William Petty announced today that the State Compensation Board has approved new Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys positions for Lynchburg and Amherst County. These positions are part of a group of 46 new prosecutor funded by this year's General Assembly. After a number of years of significant budget cuts the Governor and the General Assembly committed this year to fully fund the recognized needs of Virginia's Commonwealth's Attorneys over the next three years. Both Lynchburg and Amherst will qualify for additional positions in coming years. Both jurisdictions continue to rank high on the state's list of under funded offices.
Amherst County Commonwealth's Attorney Starke Mundy said that the new position will be tremendous help in prosecuting crimes in his jurisdiction. Currently Mundy only has one assistant, a number that has remained consistent for the past thirty years. In addition to the new prosecutor, the state also provided funding for a new secretary. This new state aid will reduce the amount of money Amherst County has had to provide Mundy's office.
Petty said that this news couldn't come at a better time for Lynchburg. "We have been able to continue to to provide a high level of service to Lynchburg citizens because of state and federal grants. These new positions come at a time when these grants are beginning to expire. Lynchburg residents are fortunate to have dedicated prosecutors to represent them. I am extremely pleased we will be able to keep these very competent men and women working for our community."
Petty currently has a staff of 10 prosecutors. He said that new positions will permit his office to concentrate more resources on problems like gang violence. "We are always more effective when we can be proactive in preventing crime. I look forward to continue to implement innovative ways to make Lynchburg a better and safer place to live" he said.
Both Petty and Mundy credited Lynchburg Delegate Preston Bryant for the state's ability to finally make good on it's promise to adequately fund this vital component of public safety. "There is no question but that the budget compromise last year generated the money that was desperately needed to provide the sheriffs and prosecutors we need to keep our citizens safe. Year after year the General Assembly did nothing but cut, cut cut when it came to public safety. It is good to know that legislators like Preston choose to do the right thing when it came to providing the money needed to fund what Governor Allen always referred to as one of the core functions of government", said Mundy.