2022 VACP Legislative Proposals

VACP/VACLEA Members:

The VACP Executive Board has developed some preliminary legislative proposals for the 2022 Virginia General Assembly session. There will be other issues and specific legislation introduced that we also will either support or oppose, and we will revise this document to reflect additional positions of interest for Virginia law enforcement.

Please let us know if there are other issues that you would like to see the VACP and/or VACLEA propose for legislative initiatives.

Contact:
Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director
Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP)
Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (VACLEA)
dana@vachiefs.org • Mobile: 804-338-9512
 

2022 VACP Legislative Priorities
 

  • Qualified Immunity – The VACP opposes legislation that would eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement.
  • Search Warrants – The VACP supports revisions to the search warrant law that would protect law enforcement officers and the public. Recommended revisions include:
    1. Change the allowable time of service on residential warrant from 8:00 am to 6:00 am, consistent with Federal Rule 41.
    2. Amend the law to clarify who can receive residential warrant service by specifying that a copy is to be left with any person aged sixteen or older (which parallels service of process in 8.01-296) or left in a conspicuous place if no such occupants arepresent.
    3. Amend the law to add the phrase “at least one” to line 83 after the word “that”...so it reads “ A search warrant for any place of abode authorized under this section shall require that at least one law-enforcement officer be recognizable and identifiable as a uniformed law-enforcement officer . . .” That change clarifies that not all LEOs must be in uniform whenexecuting a search warrant.
    4. Allow an exception to no-knock warrant to allow a judge to authorize high risk warrants.
    5. Amend the law to prevent the exclusion of evidence for minor violations; current law eliminates judicial discretion.
  • Catalytic Converters – Theft and trafficking of stolen catalytic converters has become a severe problem, with church anddaycare vans being a major target. Legislation should:
    1. Provide that larceny of a motor vehicle part is a Class I felony if the cost of replacing the part and repairing the motorvehicle is more than $1,000.
    2. Require secondary metals recyclers to maintain copies of all documentation that the secondary metals recycler relied onto determine that a seller was authorized to sell a catalytic converter to the secondary metals recycler; and
    3. Impose a mandatory $1,000 fine on any person who knowingly and willfully bought or sold a catalytic converter
  • Mapping School Buildings – Require school systems to keep their school building maps updated as a part of required school safety audits. At a time when we are seeing fewer SROs in schools, due to either police officer attrition or lack of local support for officers in schools, if we lose officers in schools, we lose familiarity with the current footprint of these buildings. The mapping requirement, to include updated door numbering, would help keep officers, firefighters, and other first responders safe and enable them to respond to emergencies quickly and accurately.
  • School Resource Officers – Support grant programs to allow localities to place officers in schools based on local priorities.
  • FOIA and Release of Police Personnel Records – The VACP opposes House Bill 2196 that would open law enforcement officer personnel and investigative records to the public. Such a practice endangers the officer, the officer’s family and unfairly targets law enforcement public officials while continuing to protect the confidentiality of the personnel records of other public officials. Law enforcement officers are subject to professional decertification that does not apply to other publicemployees.
  • 599 Funding – The VACP supports full funding of 599 aid to localities with police departments to ensure adequate funding forpolice departments to comply with state mandates.
  • Mental Health Services for Law Enforcement – The VACP recommends funding be authorized to provide for mental healthcounseling and support for law enforcement officers to address trauma and suicide prevention.
  • Mental Health – This is a critical area of concern that calls for immediate solutions. The VACP recommends the establishmentof a state advisory committee comprised of law enforcement, mental health advocates, state and private hospitals, community services boards and magistrates. The goal should be to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve mental health response and dramatically reduce the role of law enforcement in mental health transportation.
  • Pretext Laws – The VACP recommends the restoration of primary enforcement on critical traffic safety laws, includingjaywalking, defective equipment, and vehicle light requirements.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – The VACP recommends that § 65.2-107 be amended to include work-related depression andanxiety in the presumptive coverage of worker’s compensation for first responders.
  • Regional Academies Funding – The downtick in fines collections on traffic summons has decreased the state funding collected in support of the regional academies. The VACP recommends a state budget amendment to restore critical funding for regional law enforcement academies to meet state training and certification requires for law enforcement officers.
  • Civilian Review Boards and University Police – The VACP and VACLEA (Virginia Association of Campus Law EnforcementAdministrators) recommends legislation to remove the authority of locally appointed civilian review boards to investigate and discipline campus police officers from state or private institutions. The VACP also recommends that any law enforcementagency that is nationally or state accredited is exempt from civilian oversight.
  • Assault and Battery on Campus Police Officers – The VACP recommends including sworn campus police officers to be addedto Code Section 18.2-57 consistent with all sworn law enforcement officers.
  • Sexual Assault in Schools – The VACP recommends the repeal of HB 257, which allows misdemeanor sexual assaults that occurin K-12 schools to go unreported.
  • Crime Reporting in Schools – The VACP supports SB 2, introduced by Senator Cosgrove, to require school principals to reportcertain misdemeanor offenses to law enforcement and to parents of any minor student who is the specific subject of suchoffense.
  • Disorderly Conduct in Schools – The VACP supports the repeal of Code Section § 18.2-415 (D) that disallows charges for acts ofdisorderly conduct on K-12 public school properties.
  • Standards of Conduct and Decertification – The VACP recommends that the standards of conduct in development by DCJS belimited to acts of serious misconduct consistent with appropriate grounds for decertification.