Virginia State Crime Commission examines officer decertification law

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Crime Commission is considering strengthening the law that governs the decertification of bad police officers.

The issue arose Tuesday 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, apparently because police chiefs and sheriffs often simply allow the offenders to resign and don't report them to the Criminal Justice Services Board for decertification.

The report suggested making reporting mandatory, 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.