SD35 - Law Enforcement Training and Officer Decertification

  • Published: 1994
  • Author: Virginia State Crime Commission
  • Enabling Authority: Senate Joint Resolution 273 (Regular Session, 1993)

Executive Summary:
Senate Joint Resolution 273, sponsored by Senator Virgil H. Goode, Jr. of Rocky Mount and passed by the 1993 General Assembly, directed the Crime Commission to study training and certification of law enforcement officers. The major issues identified in the resolution for the Commission's consideration were ethical standards and decertification for law enforcement officers; pre-employment and standardized testing; physical fitness requirements and training; and the feasibility of a centralized training facility.

According to estimates prepared by the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety, the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Crime Commission, a centralized training facility would cost approximately $40.9 million to construct and between $3.8 and $4.2 million annually to operate. In its final report, the Commission recognized the advantages and disadvantages of a central training system. In light of current budget restraints, however, the Commission decided not to seek funding for a centralized facility at this time.

Additionally, in an effort to ensure the quality of officer applicants and enhance the professionalism of police agencies, the Commission recommended that legislation be introduced that would provide immunity from civil liability for law enforcement agency administrators; strengthen minimum qualifications for deputy sheriffs and law enforcement officers; establish a formal certification process whereby deputy sheriffs and law enforcement officers would be certified to enforce the law; and establish a formal decertification process by which deputy sheriffs and law enforcement officers could be decertified.