Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 17. Police and Public Order
10/24/2021

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-1700. Preservation of peace and good order.

Any locality may provide for the protection of its inhabitants and property and for the preservation of peace and good order therein.

Code 1950, § 15-556; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-137; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1701. Organization of police forces.

Any locality may, by ordinance, provide for the organization of its authorized police forces. Such forces shall include a chief of police, and such officers and other personnel as appropriate.

When a locality provides for a police department, the chief of police shall be the chief law-enforcement officer of that locality. However, in towns, the chief law-enforcement officer may be called the town sergeant.

1979, c. 333, § 15.1-131.7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1702. Referendum required prior to establishment of county police force.

A. A county shall not establish a police force unless (i) such action is first approved by the voters of the county in accordance with the provisions of this section and (ii) the General Assembly enacts appropriate authorizing legislation.

B. The governing body of any county shall petition the court, by resolution, asking that a referendum be held on the question, "Shall a police force be established in the county and the sheriff's office be relieved of primary law-enforcement responsibilities?" The court, by order entered of record in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, shall require the regular election officials of the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on the question as herein provided.

The clerk of the circuit court for the county shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election. The notice shall contain the ballot question and a statement of not more than 500 words on the proposed question. The explanation shall be presented in plain English, shall be limited to a neutral explanation, and shall not present arguments by either proponents or opponents of the proposal. The attorney for the county or city or, if there is no county or city attorney, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall prepare the explanation. "Plain English" means written in nontechnical, readily understandable language using words of common everyday usage and avoiding legal terms and phrases or other terms and words of art whose usage or special meaning primarily is limited to a particular field or profession.

C. The county may expend public funds to produce and distribute neutral information concerning the referendum; provided, however, public funds may not be used to promote a particular position on the question, either in the notice called for in subsection B, or in any other distribution of information to the public.

D. The regular election officers of the county shall open the polls on the date specified in such order and conduct the election in the manner provided by law. The election shall be by ballot which shall be prepared by the electoral board of the county and on which shall be printed the following:

"Shall a police force be established in the county and the sheriff's office be relieved of primary law-enforcement responsibilities?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the results certified by the electoral board to the court ordering the election. If a majority of the voters voting in the election vote "Yes," the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the governing body of the county. The governing body shall proceed to establish a police force following the enactment of authorizing legislation by the General Assembly.

E. After a referendum has been conducted pursuant to this section, no subsequent referendum shall be conducted pursuant to this section in the same county for a period of four years from the date of the prior referendum.

1983, c. 341, § 15.1-131.6:1; 1993, c. 630; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 298.

§ 15.2-1703. Referendum to abolish county police force.

The police force in any county which established the force subsequent to July 1, 1983, may be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the sheriff's office after a referendum held pursuant to this section.

Either (i) the voters of the county by petition signed by not less than ten percent of the registered voters therein on the January 1 preceding the filing of the petition or (ii) the governing body of the county, by resolution, may petition the circuit court for the county that a referendum be held on the question, "Shall the county police force be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the county sheriff's office?" The court, by order entered of record in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, shall require the regular election officials of the county at the next general election held in the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on the question as herein provided. The clerk of the circuit court for the county shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election.

The ballot shall be printed as follows:

"Shall the county police force be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the county sheriff's office?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The election shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684. If a majority of the voters voting in the election vote in favor of the question, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election, and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the governing body of the county. The governing body shall proceed with the necessary action to abolish the police force and transfer its responsibilities to the sheriff's office, to become effective on July 1 following the referendum.

Once a referendum has been held pursuant to this section, no further referendum shall be held pursuant to this section within four years thereafter.

1988, c. 660, § 15.1-131.6:2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1704. Powers and duties of police force.

A. The police force of a locality is hereby invested with all the power and authority which formerly belonged to the office of constable at common law and is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the safeguard of life and property, the preservation of peace and the enforcement of state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.

B. A police officer has no authority in civil matters, except (i) to execute and serve temporary detention and emergency custody orders and any other powers granted to law-enforcement officers in § 16.1-340, 16.1-340.1, 37.2-808, or 37.2-809, (ii) to serve an order of protection pursuant to §§ 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, and 16.1-279.1, (iii) to execute all warrants or summons as may be placed in his hands by any magistrate serving the locality and to make due return thereof, and (iv) to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce orders of isolation and quarantine issued pursuant to §§ 32.1-48.09, 32.1-48.012, and 32.1-48.014 and to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce an emergency custody order issued pursuant to § 32.1-48.02. A town police officer, after receiving training under subdivision 8 of § 9.1-102, may, with the concurrence of the local sheriff, also serve civil papers, and make return thereof, only when the town is the plaintiff and the defendant can be found within the corporate limits of the town.

Code 1950, § 15-557; 1960, c. 167; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-138; 1982, c. 38; 1984, c. 661; 1992, cc. 729, 742; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 425; 1999, c. 495; 2007, c. 724; 2008, cc. 551, 691; 2010, cc. 778, 825.

§ 15.2-1705. Minimum qualifications; waiver.

A. The chief of police and all police officers of any locality, all deputy sheriffs and jail officers in the Commonwealth, and all law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 who enter upon the duties of such office after July 1, 1994, are required to meet the following minimum qualifications for office. Such person shall (i) be a citizen of the United States; (ii) be required to undergo a background investigation including fingerprint-based criminal history records inquiries to both the Central Criminal Records Exchange and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; (iii) have a high school education or have passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education; (iv) possess a valid driver's license if required by the duties of office to operate a motor vehicle; (v) undergo a physical examination, subsequent to a conditional offer of employment, conducted under the supervision of a licensed physician; (vi) be at least 18 years of age; (vii) not have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth; and (viii) not have produced a positive result on a pre-employment drug screening, if such screening is required by the hiring law-enforcement agency or jail, where the positive result cannot be explained to the law-enforcement agency or jail administrator's satisfaction. In addition, all such officers who enter upon the duties of such office on or after July 1, 2013, shall not have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to (a) any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, including but not limited to petit larceny under § 18.2-96, or any offense involving moral turpitude that would be a misdemeanor if committed in the Commonwealth; (b) any misdemeanor sex offense in the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States, including but not limited to sexual battery under § 18.2-67.4 or consensual sexual intercourse with a minor 15 years of age or older under clause (ii) of § 18.2-371; or (c) domestic assault under § 18.2-57.2 or any offense that would be domestic assault under the laws of another state or the United States.

B. In addition, if the police officer, deputy sheriff, or jail officer had been employed at any time by another law-enforcement agency or jail, the hiring law-enforcement agency or jail shall request from all prior employing law-enforcement agencies or jails any information (i) related to an arrest or prosecution of a former police officer, deputy sheriff, or jail officer, including any expunged arrest or criminal charge known to the agency or disclosed during the hiring process that would otherwise be prohibited from disclosure in accordance with § 19.2-392.4; (ii) related to a civil suit regarding a former police officer's, deputy sheriff's, or jail officer's employment or performance of his duties; (iii) obtained during the course of any internal investigation related to a former police officer's, deputy sheriff's, or jail officer's alleged criminal conduct, use of excessive force, or other official misconduct in violation of the state professional standards of conduct adopted by the Criminal Justice Services Board; and (iv) related to a former police officer, deputy sheriff, or jail officer's job performance that led to such officer's or deputy sheriff's resignation, dismissal, demotion, suspension, or transfer. The hiring agency or jail may request this information subsequent to a conditional offer of employment; however, no police officer, deputy sheriff, or jail officer may be employed in such position until the requested information is received from all prior employing law-enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth. The hiring agency or jail shall request that the police officer, deputy sheriff, or jail officer complete a waiver or release liability authorizing the hiring agency or jail to request such information as listed in this subsection from all prior employing law-enforcement agencies or jails, including law-enforcement agencies or jails located outside the Commonwealth. Any sheriff or chief of police in the Commonwealth, any director or chief executive of any law-enforcement agency or jail in the Commonwealth, and the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services or his designee who receives such request for information shall disclose such requested information within 14 days of receiving such request to the requesting hiring law-enforcement agency or jail.

C. In addition, the hiring law-enforcement agency or jail may require a candidate for employment to undergo a psychological examination, subsequent to a conditional offer of employment, conducted under the supervision of a licensed psychiatrist or a licensed clinical psychologist.

D. Upon request of a sheriff or chief of police, or the director or chief executive of any agency or department employing law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 or jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1, the Department of Criminal Justice Services is hereby authorized to waive the requirements for qualification as set out in subsection A for good cause shown.

1982, c. 442, § 15.1-131.8; 1988, c. 396; 1994, cc. 850, 905; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 307, 468; 2014, c. 84; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 32, 37, 48.

§ 15.2-1706. Certification through training required for all law-enforcement officers; waiver of requirements.

A. All law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 and all jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1 must be certified through the successful completion of training at an approved criminal justice training academy in order to remain eligible for appointment or employment. In order to obtain such certification, all entry level law-enforcement officers seeking certification on or after July 1, 2003, shall successfully complete statewide certification examinations developed and administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Department may delegate administration of the examinations to an approved criminal justice training academy and may revoke such delegation at its discretion. The appointee's or employee's hiring agency must provide the Department of Criminal Justice Services with verification that law-enforcement or jail officers first hired after July 1, 1994, have met the minimum standards set forth in § 15.2-1705.

B. The requirement for the successful completion of the law-enforcement certification examination may be waived by the Department of Criminal Justice Services based upon previous law-enforcement experience and training. To be eligible for such waiver, the individual must have applied for and been granted an exemption or partial exemption in accordance with § 9.1-116.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:1; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 635; 2002, c. 345; 2004, c. 477.

§ 15.2-1707. Decertification of law-enforcement officers.

A. The sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator shall notify the Criminal Justice Services Board (the Board) in writing within 48 hours of becoming aware that any certified law-enforcement or jail officer currently employed by his agency has (i) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth; (ii) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a Class 1 misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any offense that would be any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, including but not limited to petit larceny under § 18.2-96, or any offense involving moral turpitude that would be a misdemeanor if committed in the Commonwealth; (iii) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to any misdemeanor sex offense in the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States, including but not limited to sexual battery under § 18.2-67.4 or consensual sexual intercourse with a minor 15 years of age or older under clause (ii) of § 18.2-371; (iv) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to domestic assault under § 18.2-57.2 or any offense that would be domestic assault under the laws of another state or the United States; (v) failed to comply with or maintain compliance with mandated training requirements; or (vi) refused to submit to a drug screening or has produced a positive result on a drug screening reported to the employing agency, where the positive result cannot be explained to the agency administrator's satisfaction.

B. The sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator shall notify the Board in writing within 48 hours if any certified law-enforcement or jail officer currently employed by his agency (i) is terminated or resigns in advance of being convicted or found guilty of an offense set forth in clause (i) of subsection A that requires decertification, (ii) is terminated or resigns in advance of a pending drug screening, (iii) is terminated or resigns for a violation of state or federal law, (iv) is terminated or resigns for engaging in serious misconduct as defined in statewide professional standards of conduct adopted by the Board, (v) is terminated or resigns while such officer is the subject of a pending internal investigation involving serious misconduct as defined in statewide professional standards of conduct adopted by the Board, or (vi) is terminated or resigns for an act committed while in the performance of his duties that compromises an officer's credibility, integrity, honesty, or other characteristics that constitute exculpatory or impeachment evidence in a criminal case.

C. The notification, where appropriate, shall be accompanied by a copy of the judgment of conviction.

D. Upon receiving such notice from the sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator, or from an attorney for the Commonwealth, the Board shall immediately decertify such law-enforcement or jail officer. Such officer shall not have the right to serve as a law-enforcement officer within the Commonwealth until his certification has been reinstated by the Board.

E. When a conviction has not become final, the Board may decline to decertify the officer until the conviction becomes final, after considering the likelihood of irreparable damage to the officer if such officer is decertified during the pendency of an ultimately successful appeal, the likelihood of injury or damage to the public if the officer is not decertified, and the seriousness of the offense.

F. The Department of Criminal Justice Services is hereby authorized to waive the requirements for decertification as set out in subsection A for good cause shown.

G. The Board may initiate decertification proceedings against any current or former law-enforcement or jail officer if the Board has found that any basis for the officer's decertification set forth in subsection A or B exists.

H. Any conviction of a misdemeanor that has been appealed to a court of record shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this section unless a final order of conviction is entered. Any finding of misconduct listed in subsection B will not be considered final until all grievances or appeals have been exhausted or waived and the finding of misconduct is made final.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:2; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 307, 468; 2017, c. 496; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 27, 37.

§ 15.2-1708. Notice of decertification.

A. Service of notice. The Board shall, within ten days of decertification, serve notice upon an affected officer, in person or by certified mail, and upon the law-enforcement or jail agency employing said officer, by certified mail, specifying the action taken and remedies available. The Board shall stay final action until the period for requesting a hearing expires.

B. Decertification hearing. Any law-enforcement or jail officer who has been decertified may, within thirty days of receipt of notice served by the Board, request, by certified mail, a hearing which shall be granted by the Board. Upon receipt of such request, the Board shall set a date, time, and place for the hearing within sixty days and serve notice by certified mail upon the affected officer. The Board, or a committee thereof, shall conduct such hearing. The affected officer may be represented by counsel. In the absence of a request for hearing, decertification shall, without further proceedings, become final thirty days after the initial notice.

C. Standard of review. The decertification of a law-enforcement or jail officer under § 15.2-1707 shall be sustained by the Board unless such law-enforcement or jail officer shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, good cause for his certification to be reinstated.

D. Final decision after request for hearing. The Board shall render a final decision within thirty days.

E. Notice of final action. The Board shall notify the officer and the law-enforcement or jail agency involved, by certified mail, of the final action regarding decertification.

F. Reinstatement after decertification. Any officer who is decertified may, after a period of not less than five years, petition the Board to be considered for reinstatement of certification.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:3; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1709. Employer immunity from liability; disclosure of information regarding former deputy sheriffs and law-enforcement officers.

Any sheriff or chief of police, any director or chief executive of any agency or department employing deputy sheriffs or law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 or jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1, and the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services or his designee who discloses information about a former deputy sheriff's or law-enforcement officer's or jail officer's job performance or information requested pursuant to subsection B of § 15.2-1705 to a prospective law-enforcement or jail employer of the former appointee or employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless the information disclosed by the former employer was knowingly false or deliberately misleading, was rendered with malicious purpose, or violated any civil right of the former employee or appointee.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:4; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 32, 37.

§ 15.2-1710. Fees and other compensation.

A police officer shall not receive any fee or other compensation out of the state treasury or the treasury of a locality for any service rendered under the provisions of this chapter other than the salary paid him by the locality and a fee as a witness in cases arising under the criminal laws of the Commonwealth. A police officer shall not receive any fee as a witness in any case arising under the ordinances of his locality, nor for attendance as a witness before any magistrate serving his locality. However, if it is necessary or expedient for him to travel beyond the limits of the locality in his capacity as a police officer, he shall be entitled to his actual expenses, as provided by law for other expenses in criminal cases.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a police officer of a locality from claiming and receiving any reward which may be offered for the arrest and detention of any offender against the criminal laws of this or any other state or nation.

Code 1950, § 15-557; 1960, c. 167; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-138; 1982, c. 38; 1984, c. 661; 1992, cc. 729, 742; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 2008, cc. 551, 691.

§ 15.2-1711. Providing legal fees and expenses for law-enforcement officers; repayment to locality of two-thirds of amount by Compensation Board.

If any law-enforcement officer is investigated, arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and no charges are brought, the charge is subsequently dismissed or upon trial he is found not guilty, the governing body of the locality wherein he is appointed may reimburse such officer for reasonable legal fees and expenses incurred by him in defense of such investigation or charge; such reimbursement shall be paid from the treasury of the locality.

When a governing body reimburses its sheriff or a law-enforcement officer in the sheriff's employment for reasonable legal fees and expenses as provided for in this section, then, upon certification of the reimbursement to the Chairman of the Compensation Board by the presiding officer of the governing body, the Compensation Board shall pay to the applicable locality two-thirds of the amount so certified.

1975, c. 31, § 15.1-131.6; 1979, c. 600; 1980, c. 106; 1985, c. 321; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1712. Employment of off-duty officers.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 2.2-3100 through 2.2-3127, any locality may adopt an ordinance which permits law-enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs in such locality to engage in off-duty employment which may occasionally require the use of their police powers in the performance of such employment. Such ordinance may include reasonable rules to apply to such off-duty employment, or it may delegate the promulgation of such reasonable rules to the chief of the respective police departments or the sheriff of the county or city.

1978, c. 537, § 15.1-133.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1713. Localities authorized to offer and pay rewards in felony and misdemeanor cases.

When any felony or misdemeanor has been committed, or there has been any attempt to commit a felony in any locality, the governing body of the locality or its duly authorized agent may offer and pay a reward for the arrest and final conviction of the person or persons who committed the felony or misdemeanor or attempted to commit the felony. The reward may be paid out of the general fund of such locality.

1983, c. 525, § 15.1-137.2; 1984, c. 661; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1713.1. Local "Crime Stoppers" programs; confidentiality.

A. As used in this section, a "Crime Stoppers," "crime solvers," "crime line," or other similarly named organization is defined as a private, nonprofit Virginia corporation governed by a civilian volunteer board of directors that is operated on a local or statewide level that (i) offers anonymity to persons providing information to the organization, (ii) accepts and expends donations for cash rewards to persons who report to the organization information about alleged criminal activity and that the organization forwards to the appropriate law-enforcement agency, and (iii) is established as a cooperative alliance between the news media, the community, and law-enforcement officials.

B. Evidence of a communication or any information contained therein between a person submitting a report of an alleged criminal act to a "Crime Stoppers" organization and the person who accepted the report on behalf of the organization is not admissible in a court proceeding. Law-enforcement agencies receiving information concerning alleged criminal activity from a "Crime Stoppers" organization shall maintain confidentiality pursuant to subsection C of § 2.2-3706.

2003, cc. 754, 760; 2013, c. 695; 2018, c. 48.

§ 15.2-1714. Establishing police lines, perimeters, or barricades.

Whenever fires, accidents, wrecks, explosions, crimes, riots, or other emergency situations where life, limb, or property may be endangered may cause persons to collect on the public streets, alleys, highways, parking lots, or other public area, the chief law-enforcement officer of any locality or that officer's authorized representative who is responsible for the security of the scene may establish such areas, zones, or perimeters by the placement of police lines or barricades as are reasonably necessary to (i) preserve the integrity of evidence at such scenes, (ii) notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-888 through 46.2-891, facilitate the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic into, out of, and around the scene, (iii) permit firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical services personnel to perform necessary operations unimpeded, and (iv) protect persons and property.

Any police line or barricade erected for these purposes shall be clearly identified by wording such as "Police Line -- DO NOT CROSS" or other similar wording. If material or equipment is not available for identifying the prohibited area, then a verbal warning by identifiable law-enforcement officials positioned to indicate a location of a police line or barricade shall be given to any person or persons attempting to cross police lines or barricades without proper authorization.

Such scene may be secured no longer than is reasonably necessary to effect the above-described purposes. Nothing in this section shall limit or otherwise affect the authority of, or be construed to deny access to such scene by, any person charged by law with the responsibility of rendering assistance at or investigating any such fires, accidents, wrecks, explosions, crimes or riots.

Personnel from information services such as press, radio, and television, when gathering news, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section except that it shall be unlawful for such persons to obstruct the police, firefighters, or emergency medical services personnel in the performance of their duties at such scene. Such personnel shall proceed at their own risk.

1984, c. 533, § 15.1-140.1; 1990, c. 327; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-1715. Authority to declare Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions; expenditure of funds.

Whenever, in the judgment of the Governor or his designee, a locality or multi-jurisdictional area is confronted with a drug trafficking problem of such a magnitude as to warrant additional resources to supplement the efforts of local officials responsible for the apprehension and prosecution of persons engaged in drug trafficking activities, he may declare such areas Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions. Upon such declaration, the Governor, or his designee, may make available funds from the Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions Fund provided for in § 9.1-105.

1990, c. 971, § 15.1-131.12; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1716. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in responding to DUI and related incidents.

A. Any locality may provide by ordinance that a person convicted of violating any of the following provisions shall, at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action, be liable to the locality or to any responding volunteer fire company or department or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, for restitution of reasonable expenses incurred by the locality for responding law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services, including those incurred by the sheriff's office of such locality, or by any volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or by any combination of the foregoing, when providing an appropriate emergency response to any accident or incident related to such violation. The ordinance may further provide that a person convicted of violating any of the following provisions shall, at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action, be liable to the locality or to any responding volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, for restitution of reasonable expenses incurred by the locality when issuing any related arrest warrant or summons, including the expenses incurred by the sheriff's office of such locality, or by any volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or by any combination of the foregoing:

1. The provisions of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-266.1, 29.1-738, 29.1-738.02, or 46.2-341.24, or a similar ordinance, when such operation of a motor vehicle, engine, train or watercraft while so impaired is the proximate cause of the accident or incident;

2. The provisions of Article 7 (§ 46.2-852 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 46.2 relating to reckless driving, when such reckless driving is the proximate cause of the accident or incident;

3. The provisions of Article 1 (§ 46.2-300 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 46.2 relating to driving without a license or driving with a suspended or revoked license; and

4. The provisions of § 46.2-894 relating to improperly leaving the scene of an accident.

B. Personal liability under this section for reasonable expenses of an appropriate emergency response pursuant to subsection A shall not exceed $1,000 in the aggregate for a particular accident, arrest, or incident occurring in such locality. In determining the "reasonable expenses," a locality may bill a flat fee of $350 or a minute-by-minute accounting of the actual costs incurred. As used in this section, "appropriate emergency response" includes all costs of providing law-enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The court may order as restitution the reasonable expenses incurred by the locality for responding law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The provisions of this section shall not preempt or limit any remedy available to the Commonwealth, to the locality, or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency to recover the reasonable expenses of an emergency response to an accident or incident not involving impaired driving, operation of a vehicle, or other conduct as set forth herein.

1994, c. 617, § 15.1-132.1; 1995, cc. 683, 685, 830; 1997, cc. 587, 691; 2001, c. 505; 2003, c. 796; 2004, c. 273; 2005, cc. 148, 366; 2006, c. 679; 2009, c. 245; 2010, c. 343; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-1716.1. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in responding to terrorism hoax incident, bomb threat, or malicious activation of fire alarm.

Any locality may provide by ordinance that any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection B or C of § 18.2-46.6, a felony violation of § 18.2-83 or 18.2-84, or a violation of § 18.2-212, when his violation of such section is the proximate cause of any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, shall be liable at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action to the locality or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, which may provide such emergency response for the reasonable expense thereof, in an amount not to exceed $2,500 in the aggregate for a particular incident occurring in such locality. In determining the "reasonable expense," a locality may bill a flat fee of $250 or a minute-by-minute accounting of the actual costs incurred. As used in this section, "appropriate emergency response" includes all costs of providing law-enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The provisions of this section shall not preempt or limit any remedy available to the Commonwealth, to the locality, or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency to recover the reasonable expenses of an emergency response to an incident not involving a terroristic hoax or an act undertaken in violation of § 18.2-83, 18.2-84, or 18.2-212 as set forth herein.

2002, cc. 588, 623; 2005, c. 479; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2016, c. 213; 2017, cc. 98, 519.

§ 15.2-1716.2. Methamphetamine lab cleanup costs; localities may charge for reimbursement.

Any locality may provide by ordinance that any person who is convicted of an offense for manufacture of methamphetamine pursuant to § 18.2-248 or 18.2-248.03 shall be liable at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action to the locality or to any other law-enforcement entity for the expense in cleaning up any methamphetamine lab related to the conviction. The amount charged shall not exceed the actual expenses associated with cleanup, removal, or repair of the affected property or the replacement cost of personal protective equipment used.

2012, cc. 517, 616.

§ 15.2-1717. Preventing interference with pupils at schools.

Localities may adopt any reasonable ordinance necessary to prevent any improper interference with or annoyance of the pupils attending or boarding at any schools situated in such locality.

Code 1950, § 15-558; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-139; 1973, c. 401; 1984, c. 661; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1717.1. Designation of police to enforce trespass violations.

Any locality may by ordinance establish a procedure whereby the owner, lessee, custodian, or person lawfully in charge as those terms are used in § 18.2-119, of real property may designate the local law-enforcement agency as a "person lawfully in charge of the property" for the purpose of forbidding another to go or remain upon the lands, buildings or premises as specified in the designation. The ordinance shall require that any such designation be in writing and on file with the local law-enforcement agency.

1999, c. 275; 2002, c. 328.

§ 15.2-1718. Receipt of missing child reports.

No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy which requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a missing child report as defined in § 52-32. Upon receipt of a missing child report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the child into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse within the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

1985, c. 259, § 15.1-131.9; 1990, c. 239; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 248, 443.

§ 15.2-1718.1. Receipt of missing senior adult reports.

A. No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy which requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a missing senior adult report. Upon receipt of a missing senior adult report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the senior adult into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Missing senior adult report" means a report prepared in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police for use by law-enforcement agencies to report missing senior adult information and photograph to the Department of State Police.

2007, cc. 486, 723.

§ 15.2-1718.2. Receipt of critically missing adult reports.

A. No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy that requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a critically missing adult report. Upon receipt of a critically missing adult report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the critically missing adult into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Critically missing adult" means any missing adult 21 years of age or older whose disappearance indicates a credible threat to the health and safety of the adult as determined by a law-enforcement agency and under such other circumstances as deemed appropriate after consideration of all known circumstances.

"Critically missing adult report" means a report prepared in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police for use by law-enforcement agencies to report critically missing adult information, including a photograph, to the Department of State Police.

2015, cc. 205, 223.

§ 15.2-1719. Disposal of unclaimed property in possession of sheriff or police.

Any locality may provide by ordinance for (i) the public sale in accordance with the provisions of this section or (ii) the retention for use by the law-enforcement agency, of any unclaimed personal property which has been in the possession of its law-enforcement agencies and unclaimed for a period of more than 60 days, after payment of a reasonable storage fee to the sheriff or other agency storing such property. No storage fee shall be charged or accounted for if such property has been stored by and is to be retained by the sheriff's office or other law-enforcement agency. As used herein, "unclaimed personal property" shall be any personal property belonging to another which has been acquired by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner and which the State Treasurer has indicated will be declined if remitted under the Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.). Unclaimed bicycles and mopeds may also be disposed of in accordance with § 15.2-1720. Unclaimed firearms may also be disposed of in accordance with § 15.2-1721.

Prior to the sale or retention for use by the law-enforcement agency of any unclaimed item, the chief of police, sheriff or their duly authorized agents shall make reasonable attempts to notify the rightful owner of the property, obtain from the attorney for the Commonwealth in writing a statement advising that the item is not needed in any criminal prosecution, and cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality once a week for two successive weeks, notice that there will be a public display and sale of unclaimed personal property. Such property, including property selected for retention by the law-enforcement agency, shall be described generally in the notice, together with the date, time and place of the sale and shall be made available for public viewing at the sale. The chief of police, sheriff or their duly authorized agents shall pay from the proceeds of sale the costs of advertisement, removal, storage, investigation as to ownership and liens, and notice of sale. The balance of the funds shall be held by such officer for the owner and paid to the owner upon satisfactory proof of ownership. Any unclaimed item retained for use by the law-enforcement agency shall become the property of the locality served by the agency and shall be retained only if, in the opinion of the chief law-enforcement officer, there is a legitimate use for the property by the agency and that retention of the item is a more economical alternative than purchase of a similar or equivalent item.

If no claim has been made by the owner for the property or proceeds of such sale within 60 days of the sale, the remaining funds shall be deposited in the general fund of the locality and the retained property may be placed into use by the law-enforcement agency. Any such owner shall be entitled to apply to the locality within three years from the date of the sale and, if timely application is made therefor and satisfactory proof of ownership of the funds or property is made, the locality shall pay the remaining proceeds of the sale or return the property to the owner without interest or other charges or compensation. No claim shall be made nor any suit, action or proceeding be instituted for the recovery of such funds or property after three years from the date of the sale.

1982, c. 163, § 15.1-133.01; 1994, c. 144; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 333.

§ 15.2-1720. Localities authorized to license bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and electric personal assistive mobility devices; disposition of unclaimed bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Any locality may, by ordinance, (i) provide for the public sale or donation to a charitable organization of any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped that has been in the possession of the police or sheriff's department, unclaimed, for more than thirty days; (ii) require every resident owner of a bicycle, electric power-assisted bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped to obtain a license therefor and a license plate, tag, or adhesive license decal of such design and material as the ordinance may prescribe, to be substantially attached to the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; (iii) prescribe the license fee, the license application forms and the license form; and (iv) prescribe penalties for operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on public roads or streets within the locality without an attached license plate, tag, or adhesive decal. The ordinance shall require the license plates, tags, or adhesive decals to be provided by and at the cost of the locality. Any locality may provide that the license plates, tags, or adhesive decals shall be valid for the life of the bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds to which they are attached or for such other period as it may prescribe and may prescribe such fee therefor as it may deem reasonable. When any town license is required as provided for herein, the license shall be in lieu of any license required by any county ordinance. Any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped found and delivered to the police or sheriff's department by a private person that thereafter remains unclaimed for thirty days after the final date of publication as required herein may be given to the finder; however, the location and description of the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped shall be published at least once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the locality. In addition, if there is a license, tag, or adhesive license decal affixed to the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped, the record owner shall be notified directly.

Code 1950, § 15-554; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-133; 1968, c. 24; 1970, c. 285; 1975, c. 76; 1986, c. 52; 1994, c. 449; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254; 2013, c. 783.

§ 15.2-1721. Disposal of unclaimed firearms or other weapons in possession of sheriff or police.

Any locality may destroy unclaimed firearms and other weapons which have been in the possession of law-enforcement agencies for a period of more than 120 days. For the purposes of this section, "unclaimed firearms and other weapons" means any firearm or other weapon belonging to another which has been acquired by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner and which the State Treasurer has indicated will be declined if remitted under the Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.).

At the discretion of the chief of police, sheriff, or their duly authorized agents, unclaimed firearms and other weapons may be destroyed by any means which renders the firearms and other weapons permanently inoperable. Prior to the destruction of such firearms and other weapons, the chief of police, sheriff, or their duly authorized agents shall comply with the notice provision contained in § 15.2-1719.

In lieu of destroying any such unclaimed firearm, the locality may donate the firearm to the Department of Forensic Science, upon agreement of the Department.

1990, c. 324, § 15.1-133.01:1; 1997, c. 587; 2015, c. 220.

§ 15.2-1721.1. Acquisition of military property by localities.

A. No locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive of any agency or department employing deputy sheriffs or law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 or any public or private institution of higher education that has established a campus police department pursuant to Article 3 (§ 23.1-809 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 23.1 shall acquire or purchase (i) weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles; (ii) aircraft that are configured for combat or are combat-coded and have no established commercial flight application; (iii) grenades or similar explosives or grenade launchers from a surplus program operated by the federal government; (iv) armored multi-wheeled vehicles that are mine-resistant, ambush-protected, and configured for combat, also known as MRAPs, from a surplus program operated by the federal government; (v) bayonets; (vi) firearms of .50 caliber or higher; (vii) ammunition of .50 caliber or higher; or (viii) weaponized tracked armored vehicles.

Nothing in this subsection shall restrict the acquisition or purchase of an armored high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle, also known as HMMWVs, or preclude the seizure of any prohibited item in connection with a criminal investigation or proceeding or subject to a civil forfeiture. Any property obtained by seizure shall be disposed of at the conclusion of any investigation or as otherwise provided by law.

B. Any locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive of any agency or department employing deputy sheriffs or law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 that has previously acquired any item listed in subsection A is prohibited from using such items unless such locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive has received a waiver to use such items from the Criminal Justice Services Board. Any waiver request made to the Criminal Justice Services Board shall be limited to special weapons and tactics unit or other equivalent unit use only. The Criminal Justice Services Board may grant a waiver upon a showing of good cause by the requesting locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive that the continued use of the item that is the subject of the waiver request has a bona fide public safety purpose.

Any locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive that has filed a waiver request with the Criminal Justice Services Board may continue to use such prohibited items while such waiver request is pending before the Criminal Justice Services Board. If such waiver request is denied, the locality, sheriff, chief of police, or director or chief executive that filed such waiver shall no longer use such prohibited item.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the acquisition, purchase, or otherwise acceptance of any personal protective equipment, naloxone or other lifesaving medication, or any personal property that is not specifically prohibited pursuant to subsection A from the federal government.

2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 37, 55.

§ 15.2-1722. Certain records to be kept by sheriffs and chiefs of police.

A. It shall be the duty of the sheriff or chief of police of every locality to insure, in addition to other records required by law, the maintenance of adequate personnel, arrest, investigative, reportable incidents, and noncriminal incidents records necessary for the efficient operation of a law-enforcement agency. Failure of a sheriff or a chief of police to maintain such records or failure to relinquish such records to his successor in office shall constitute a misdemeanor. Former sheriffs or chiefs of police shall be allowed access to such files for preparation of a defense in any suit or action arising from the performance of their official duties as sheriff or chief of police. The enforcement of this section shall be the duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city wherein the violation occurs.

B. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

"Arrest records" means a compilation of information, centrally maintained in law-enforcement custody, of any arrest or temporary detention of an individual, including the identity of the person arrested or detained, the nature of the arrest or detention, and the charge, if any.

"Investigative records" means the reports of any systematic inquiries or examinations into criminal or suspected criminal acts which have been committed, are being committed, or are about to be committed.

"Noncriminal incidents records" means compilations of noncriminal occurrences of general interest to law-enforcement agencies, such as missing persons, lost and found property, suicides and accidental deaths.

"Personnel records" means those records maintained on each and every individual employed by a law-enforcement agency which reflect personal data concerning the employee's age, length of service, amount of training, education, compensation level, and other pertinent personal information.

"Reportable incidents records" means a compilation of complaints received by a law-enforcement agency and action taken by the agency in response thereto.

1975, c. 290, § 15.1-135.1; 1979, c. 686; 1981, c. 284; 1997, c. 587; 1999, cc. 703, 726.

§ 15.2-1722.1. Prohibited practices; collection of data.

A. No law-enforcement officer shall engage in bias-based profiling as defined in § 52-30.1 in the performance of his official duties.

B. The police force of every locality shall collect data pertaining to (i) all investigatory motor vehicle stops, (ii) all stop-and-frisks of a person based on reasonable suspicion, and (iii) all other investigatory detentions that do not result in an arrest or the issuance of a summons pursuant to § 52-30.2 and report such data to the Department of State Police for inclusion in the Community Policing Reporting Database established pursuant to § 52-30.3. The chief of police of the locality shall be responsible for forwarding the data to the Superintendent of State Police.

C. The chief of police of the locality shall post the data that has been forwarded for inclusion in the Community Policing Reporting Database on a website that is maintained by the chief of police or on any other website on which the chief of police generally posts information and that is available to the public or that clearly describes how the public may access such data.

2020, c. 1165; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 37.

§ 15.2-1723. Validation of certain police forces.

Any police force in existence on July 1, 1980, whose existence is authorized or was authorized by any provision of law, general or special, that was repealed by Chapter 333 of the Acts of Assembly of 1979 is hereby validated and shall continue. Any police force in existence on December 1, 1996, whose existence is authorized or was authorized by any provision of law, general or special, that is repealed by this act is hereby validated and shall continue.

1979, c. 333, § 15.1-142.2; 1983, c. 576; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1723.1. Body-worn camera system.

A. For purposes of this section, "body-worn camera system" means an electronic system for creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, and processing audiovisual recordings, including cameras or other devices capable of creating such recordings, that may be worn about the person.

B. No law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations shall purchase or deploy a body-worn camera system unless such agency has adopted and established a written policy for the operation of a body-worn camera system. Such policy shall follow identified best practices and be consistent with Virginia law and regulations, using as guidance the model policy established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Prior to the adoption of a written policy for the operation of a body-worn camera system, the agency shall make the policy available for public comment and review.

2020, c. 123.

§ 15.2-1723.2. Facial recognition technology; approval.

A. For purposes of this section, "facial recognition technology" means an electronic system for enrolling, capturing, extracting, comparing, and matching an individual's geometric facial data to identify individuals in photos, videos, or real time. "Facial recognition technology" does not include the use of an automated or semi-automated process to redact a recording in order to protect the privacy of a subject depicted in the recording prior to release or disclosure of the recording outside of the law-enforcement agency if the process does not generate or result in the retention of any biometric data or surveillance information.

B. No local law-enforcement agency shall purchase or deploy facial recognition technology unless such purchase or deployment of facial recognition technology is expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to facial recognition technology shall not be construed to provide express authorization. Such statute shall require that any facial recognition technology purchased or deployed by the local law-enforcement agency be maintained under the exclusive control of such local law-enforcement agency and that any data contained by such facial recognition technology be kept confidential, not be disseminated or resold, and be accessible only by a search warrant issued pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 19.2-52 et seq.) of Title 19.2 or an administrative or inspection warrant issued pursuant to law.

C. Nothing in this section shall apply to commercial air service airports.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 537.