Statewide police conduct standards will soon be enforceable almost two years after law passed

Capitol Police cars in Richmond, Va.
Capitol Police cars in Richmond, Va.(Kate Masters/ Virginia Mercury)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:40 AM EDT
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From 1999 to Feb. 2021, just 81 law enforcement officers lost their ability to work in Virginia because of unacceptable conduct on the job.

Since then, numbers have surged. Between March 2021 and Aug. 5 of this year, 103 Virginia police officers have been decertified, largely as a result of a law passed in 2020 that expanded the criteria for an officer to lose their state certification.

Previously, officers could only be decertified if they were convicted of a crime, failed a drug test, or did not comply with required training standards. But the 2020 law, which was passed as part of a series of police reform measures, broadened the criteria for decertification to include officers who are fired or resign as a result of certain misconduct, including use of excessive force or actions that compromise their credibility, integrity or honesty.

Two in every three decertifications that took place after the new criteria were instituted cite the credibility, integrity, or honesty clause as at least one reason for decertification, with the majority specifying that document falsification or lying in an internal investigation had occurred.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)

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