Community Policing Bills Update

January 29, 2018

The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is halfway through a two-year process to update law enforcement training standards. A number of the bills suggest policy changes to those standards relating to communication and community engaged policing.

HB 174 (Filler-Corn) requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish communication procedures between law enforcement and individuals with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and developmental disabilities. VACo spoke in support of the legislation, which would facilitate better communication between these individuals and law-enforcement officers to de-escalate crises and divert these individuals from incarceration to treatment. The House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee unanimously laid the bill on the table.

HB 105 (Herring) directs the Department of Criminal Justice Services to include fair and impartial policing, verbal de-escalation, and needs of special populations in law enforcement training and recertification standards. The bill expands community engaged policing to include programs that are transparent, account for the needs of the community from those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to underserved individuals, represent community values, and prevent crime in a fair way. Other community engaged policing strategies address inclusive hiring practices and comprehensive training. The House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee unanimously laid the bill on the table.

Chairman Ben Cline agreed to write a letter to consider these policy changes when providing final recommendations and related budget amendments for the updated training standards.

VACo Contact: Khaki LaRiviere

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