SD31 - The Feasibility of Establishing a State Bureau of Narcotics

Executive Summary:
The Law Enforcement Subcommittee of the Virginia State Crime Commission conducted the study of SJR 77--The Feasibility of Establishing a State Bureau of Narcotics. During the course of the study, the Subcommittee compared the current decentralized approach to drug law enforcement in Virginia with the centralized and decentralized agency configurations found in other states. Additionally, the Subcommittee expanded the focus of SJR 77 to encompass the issue of interagency communication/information-sharing. Finally, the Subcommittee heard testimony from local and state law enforcement officers, association representatives and the Virginia State Police. As a result of their study efforts, the Subcommittee made the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Having carefully considered the objective set forth in SJR 77, the Crime Commission should not further pursue the establishment of a centralized Bureau of Narcotics.

Recommendation 2: Law enforcement agencies and/or associations should consider offering interactive workshops and seminars designed to enhance interagency relations and provide additional instruction to narcotics officers. Such training should focus on interagency communications and information-sharing techniques appropriate to drug law enforcement activities. Suitable forums for such training might include regularly-scheduled conferences sponsored by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Sheriffs' Association as well as Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force annual meetings.