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Virginia Laws For Police Decertification May See Stricter Enforcement

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Virginia is considering stricter enforcement of decertification laws for police officers.
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Virginia is considering stricter enforcement of decertification laws for police officers.

The Virginia State Crime Commission is considering reinforcing a law that governs the decertification of bad police officers.

The issue came up this week when the commission heard a report on law enforcement training academies. The commission was told that state law allows decertification of an officer for a felony conviction, failing to meet training requirements and failing or refusing to submit to a drug test.

Only four officers have been decertified over the last two years. Commission members say that's because police chiefs and sheriffs often allow the offenders to resign and don't report them to the Criminal Justice Services Board for decertification.

The report suggested mandatory reporting, and expanding the criteria for decertification to include certain misdemeanors and acts of moral turpitude.

The commission will revisit the issue at a future meeting.

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