Accountability in Virginia Policing: An Agenda for Reform
Proposals for Reform
Enhance professionalism: Require all police and sheriff’s departments to be accredited. Strengthen professional standards for officers and require decertification for misconduct. Increase pay.
End policing of low-level offenses: Legalize marijuana possession for adults, identify alternatives to prosecuting offenses like disorderly conduct, panhandling and trespassing by mentally ill or homeless people.
Implement statewide standards for use-of-force & body-cam policies: Ensure that use of force policies recognize preservation of life is paramount and all body cam policies have certain identical provisions across jurisdictions.
Abolish policing for profit: End civil asset forfeiture in the absence of a criminal conviction. Fund law enforcement with general fund dollars not fines and forfeitures.
Establish civilian authority over policing: Require approval by governing body of acquisition of military equipment or surveillance technology. Empower a civilian review board to examine police misconduct.
Independent investigations & prosecutions: Independent investigators and prosecutors must investigate and prosecute cases in which a law enforcement or correctional officer is involved in an incident in which a person in custody is seriously injured or killed.
Require transparency: Require collection and public release of data on critical policing activity such as stop and frisk, use of force and arrests with demographic breakdown.