(I'd love to see Flaccavento pull a huge upset and boot the abysmal Morgan Griffith out of Congress. - promoted by lowkell)
"We need to take better care of the folks on the front lines," says candidate
ABINGDON, Va., Oct. 30, 2012 - Anthony Flaccavento, candidate for Congress from Virginia's Ninth District, today called for higher pay for southwest Virginia's first responders. Citing a recent conversation with area sheriffs, Mr. Flaccavento pointed out that many deputies and dispatchers are living at or near the poverty line. He also called for greater job opportunities for veterans, which dovetails with the need for more and better-paid first responders.
"We should take care of the people who take care of us," said Mr. Flaccavento. "In a predominately rural district like the Ninth, sheriff's deputies are almost always the first responders to an emergency. They put their lives on the line to keep us safe or help us get to safety. Especially in light of the risks they take and the sacrifices they make, we need to be sure to pay sheriff's deputies a livable wage they can raise a family on.
"And we must also ensure that the counties and independent cities of southwest Virginia have the resources they need to keep the public safe," added Mr. Flaccavento. "As Congressman, I will introduce legislation to increase salaries for sheriff's deputies and hire more of them. And as we're hiring more first responders, we'll look at veterans first, so that folks who have gotten the job done overseas are better able to find a job back home."
Mr. Flaccavento recently met with a group of Ninth District sheriffs to discuss public safety and what Congress can do to better support them. The sheriffs' primary concern was a lack of resources to adequately staff their departments and pay their deputies. Mr. Flaccavento will introduce legislation in the House that mirrors Senate Bill 3457, which establishes a veterans jobs corps. He will also add language to that legislation to provide supplemental federal funding for underpaid sheriff's deputies.
"Some of my deputies are paid so little, they qualify for food stamps," said Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman. "These men and women are our first line of defense against domestic disasters, including terrorist attacks, tornadoes, and any other tragedy where you want trained professionals helping to keep people safe. They also investigate more than 95 percent of all serious crimes. We ask so much of them, yet many of our deputies and the dispatchers they rely on for information make less than $30,000 a year."
Montgomery Sheriff Tommy Whitt added, "I fully support Anthony's draft legislation and his position on first responders."
Anthony Flaccavento is a candidate for Congress from Virginia's Ninth District. He is a family farmer and small business owner from Abingdon, in the heart of the district. Anthony has spent the last three decades working to promote economic development and sustainable farming practices in southwest Virginia. Please visit www.afor9.com for more information.
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