Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Chapter 8. Health and Campus Safety
11/29/2022

Article 3. Campus Safety; Campus Police Departments.

§ 23.1-809. Public institutions of higher education; establishment of campus police departments authorized; employment of officers.

A. The governing board of each public institution of higher education may establish a campus police department and employ campus police officers and auxiliary police forces upon appointment as provided in §§ 23.1-811 and 23.1-812. Such employment is governed by the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), except that the governing board of a public institution of higher education may direct that the employment of the chief of the campus police department is not governed by the Virginia Personnel Act.

B. The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority and Eastern Virginia Medical School may employ police officers and auxiliary police forces as provided in this article and, in the case of the Authority, in § 23.1-2406, except that the employment of such officers and forces is not governed by the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.).

1977, c. 79, § 23-232; 1991, c. 711; 1996, cc. 905, 1046; 2000, c. 720; 2009, c. 596; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-810. Authorization for campus police departments in private institutions of higher education.

The governing board of each private institution of higher education may establish, in compliance with the provisions of this article, a campus police department and employ campus police officers upon appointment as provided in § 23.1-812. Except as such provisions apply exclusively to public institutions of higher education or employees, the provisions of this article shall apply to the appointment and employment of officers and the operation, powers, duties, and jurisdiction of campus police departments at private institutions of higher education, and such departments are subject to and shall enjoy the benefits of this article. However, to be qualified to use the word "police" to describe the department or its officers, any private institution of higher education that establishes a campus police department shall require each officer to comply with the training or other requirements for law-enforcement officers established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 9.1-100 et seq.) of Title 9.1.

1992, c. 187, § 23-232.1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-811. Establishment of auxiliary police forces.

The governing board of each public institution of higher education and private institution of higher education, for the further preservation of public peace, safety, and good order of the campus community, may establish, equip, and maintain an auxiliary police force. When called into service pursuant to procedures established by the governing board, members of such auxiliary police forces have all the powers, authority, and immunities of campus police officers at public institutions of higher education.

1991, c. 711, § 23-233.1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-812. Appointment of campus police officers and members of an auxiliary police force.

A. Prior to appointment as a campus police officer or member of an auxiliary police force, each individual shall be investigated by the campus police department of the institution applying for the order of appointment or, if none has been established, by the police department of the locality in which such institution is located. Such investigation shall determine whether the individual is responsible, honest, and in all ways capable of performing the duties of a campus police officer.

B. Upon application of the governing board of a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education, the circuit court of the locality in which the institution is located may, by order, appoint the individuals named in the application to be campus police officers or members of an auxiliary police force at such institution.

C. Each campus police officer and member of an auxiliary police force appointed and employed pursuant to this article is a state employee of the institution named in the order of appointment. Insofar as it is not inconsistent with the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), the governing board of such institution shall provide for the conditions and terms of employment and compensation and a distinctive uniform and badge of office for such officers and members of an auxiliary police force.

1977, c. 79, §§ 23-233, 23-236; 1991, c. 711; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-813. Officers and members to comply with requirements of Department of Criminal Justice Services.

All individuals appointed and employed as campus police officers or members of an auxiliary police force pursuant to this article shall comply with the requirements for law-enforcement officers as established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 9.1-100 et seq.) of Title 9.1.

1977, c. 79, § 23-235; 1984, c. 779; 1991, c. 711; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-814. Termination of employment of campus police officers and members of auxiliary police forces.

An individual appointed as a campus police officer or a member of an auxiliary police force shall exercise his powers only as long as he remains employed or activated by the institution named in the order of the appointment. The appointment order entered by the circuit court shall automatically be revoked upon the termination of the employment of the officer or member at the institution and may be revoked by the court for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance. The institution shall notify the court upon termination of the employment of the officer or member at the institution.

1977, c. 79, § 23-237; 1991, c. 711; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-815. Campus police forces and auxiliary police forces; powers and duties; jurisdiction.

A. As used in this section:

"Campus" means (i) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education located within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner relating to, the institution's educational purposes, including residence halls, and (ii) any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the area described in clause (i) that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes, such as a food or other retail vendor.

"Noncampus building or property" means (i) any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by an institution of higher education or (ii) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution's educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.

"Public property" means all public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

B. A campus police officer appointed as provided in § 23.1-812 or a member of an auxiliary police force appointed and activated pursuant to §§ 23.1-811 and 23.1-812 shall be deemed police officers of localities who may exercise the powers and duties conferred by law upon such police officers, including the provisions of Chapters 5 (§ 19.2-52 et seq.), 7 (§ 19.2-71 et seq.), and 23 (§ 19.2-387 et seq.) of Title 19.2, (i) upon any property owned or controlled by the public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education, or, upon request, any property owned or controlled by another public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education, and upon the streets, sidewalks, and highways immediately adjacent to any such property; (ii) pursuant to a mutual aid agreement (a) as provided for in § 15.2-1727 or (b) between the governing board of a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education and another public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth or an adjacent political subdivision; (iii) in close pursuit of a person as provided in § 19.2-77; and (iv) upon approval by the appropriate circuit court of a petition by the local governing body for concurrent jurisdiction in designated areas with the police officers of the locality in which the institution, its satellite campuses, or other properties are located. The local governing body may only petition the circuit court for such concurrent jurisdiction pursuant to a request by the local law-enforcement agency.

C. Each public institution of higher education and private institution of higher education that establishes a campus police force pursuant to this article shall enter into and become a party to a mutual aid agreement with an adjacent local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police for the use of their regular and auxiliary joint forces, equipment, and materials when needed in the investigation of any felony criminal sexual assault or medically unattended death occurring on property owned or controlled by such institution or any death resulting from an incident occurring on such property. Such mutual aid agreements shall include provisions requiring either the campus police force or the agency with which it has established a mutual aid agreement pursuant to this subsection, in the event that such police force or agency conducts an investigation that involves a felony criminal sexual assault as set forth in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 occurring on campus, in or on a noncampus building or property, or on public property, to notify the local attorney for the Commonwealth of such investigation within 48 hours of beginning such investigation. No such notification provision shall require a campus police force or the agency with which it has established a mutual aid agreement to disclose identifying information about the victim. Nothing in this section prohibits a campus police force or auxiliary police force from requesting assistance from any appropriate law-enforcement agency of the Commonwealth with which the institution has not entered into a mutual aid agreement.

D. Each public institution of higher education and nonprofit private institution of higher education that (i) has not established a campus police force or auxiliary police force pursuant to this article and (ii) has a security department, relies on local or state police forces, or contracts for security services from private parties pursuant to § 23.1-818 shall enter into and become a party to a memorandum of understanding with an adjacent local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police (the Department) to require either such local law-enforcement agency or the Department, in the event that such agency or the Department conducts an investigation that involves a felony criminal sexual assault as set forth in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 occurring on campus, in or on a noncampus building or property, or on public property, to notify the local attorney for the Commonwealth of such investigation within 48 hours of beginning such investigation. No such notification provision shall require the law-enforcement agency or the Department to disclose identifying information about the victim.

E. All mutual aid agreements and memoranda of understanding entered into pursuant to this section shall specify the procedure for sharing information.

1977, c. 79, § 23-234; 1985, c. 386; 1991, c. 711; 1992, c. 187; 2002, c. 97; 2012, cc. 282, 450; 2015, c. 707; 2016, cc. 513, 571, 588.

§ 23.1-815.1. (Effective until July 1, 2026) Facial recognition technology; approval.

A. For purposes of this subsection, "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 campus police department 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 campus police department be maintained under the exclusive control of such campus police department 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.

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

§ 23.1-815.1. (Effective July 1, 2026) Facial recognition technology; approval; penalty.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Authorized use" means the use of facial recognition technology to (i) help identify an individual when there is a reasonable suspicion the individual has committed a crime; (ii) help identify a crime victim, including a victim of online sexual abuse material; (iii) help identify a person who may be a missing person or witness to criminal activity; (iv) help identify a victim of human trafficking or an individual involved in the trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs, or wildlife; (v) help identify an online recruiter of criminal activity, including but not limited to human, weapon, drug, and wildlife trafficking; (vi) help a person who is suffering from a mental or physical disability impairing his ability to communicate and be understood; (vii) help identify a deceased person; (viii) help identify a person who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to identify himself; (ix) help identify a person who is reasonably believed to be a danger to himself or others; (x) help identify an individual lawfully detained; (xi) help mitigate an imminent threat to public safety, a significant threat to life, or a threat to national security, including acts of terrorism; (xii) ensure officer safety as part of the vetting of undercover law enforcement; (xiii) determine whether an individual may have unlawfully obtained one or more state driver's licenses, financial instruments, or other official forms of identification using information that is fictitious or associated with a victim of identity theft; or (xiv) help identify a person who an officer reasonably believes is concealing his true identity and about whom the officer has a reasonable suspicion has committed a crime other than concealing his identity.

"Facial recognition technology" means an electronic system or service for conducting an algorithmic comparison of images of a person's facial features for the purpose of identification. "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.

"Publicly post" means to post on a website that is maintained by the entity or on any other website on which the entity generally posts information and that is available to the public or that clearly describes how the public may access such data.

"State Police Model Facial Recognition Technology Policy" means the model policy developed and published by the Department of State Police pursuant to § 52-4.5.

B. Pursuant to § 2.2-1112, the Division of Purchases and Supply (the Division) shall determine the appropriate facial recognition technology for use in accordance with this section. The Division shall not approve any facial recognition technology unless it has been evaluated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of the Face Recognition Vendor Test. Any facial recognition technology utilized shall utilize algorithms that have demonstrated (i) an accuracy score of at least 98 percent true positives within one or more datasets relevant to the application in a NIST Face Recognition Vendor Test report and (ii) minimal performance variations across demographics associated with race, skin tone, ethnicity, or gender. The Division shall require all approved vendors to annually provide independent assessments and benchmarks offered by NIST to confirm continued compliance with this section.

C. A campus police department may use facial recognition technology for authorized uses. A match made through facial recognition technology shall not be included in an affidavit to establish probable cause for purposes of issuance of a search warrant or an arrest warrant but shall be admissible as exculpatory evidence. A campus police department shall not (i) use facial recognition technology for tracking the movements of an identified individual in a public space in real time; (ii) create a database of images using a live video feed for the purpose of using facial recognition technology; or (iii) enroll a comparison image in a commercial image repository of a facial recognition technology service provider except pursuant to an authorized use. Following such use as provided in clause (iii), no comparison image may be retained or used further by the service provider except as required for auditing that use or as may be otherwise required by law.

D. A campus police department shall publicly post and annually update its policy on use of facial recognition technology before employing such facial recognition technology to investigate a specific criminal incident or citizen welfare situation. A campus police department that uses facial recognition technology may adopt the State Police Model Facial Recognition Technology Policy. If a campus police department uses facial recognition technology but does not adopt the State Police Model Facial Recognition Technology Policy, such department shall develop its own policy within 90 days of publication of the State Police Model Facial Recognition Technology Policy that meets or exceeds the standards set forth in such model policy. Any policy adopted or developed pursuant to this subsection shall be updated annually. A campus police department shall not utilize any facial recognition technology until after the publication of the State Police Model Facial Recognition Technology Policy and after publication of the department's policy regarding use of facial recognition technology.

E. Any campus police department that uses facial recognition technology shall maintain records sufficient to facilitate discovery in criminal proceedings, post-conviction proceedings, public reporting, and auditing of compliance with such department's facial recognition technology policies. Such department that uses facial recognition technology shall collect data pertaining to (i) a complete history of each user's queries; (ii) the total number of queries conducted; (iii) the number of queries that resulted in a list of possible candidates; (iv) how many times an examiner offered campus police an investigative lead based on his findings; (v) how many cases were closed due to an investigative lead from facial recognition technology; (vi) what types of criminal offenses are being investigated; (vii) the nature of the image repository being compared or queried; (viii) demographic information for the individuals whose images are queried; and (ix) if applicable, any other entities with which the department shared facial recognition data.

F. Any chief of a campus police department whose department uses facial recognition technology shall publicly post and annually update a report by April 1 each year to provide information to the public regarding the department's use of facial recognition technology. The report shall include all data required by clauses (ii) through (viii) of subsection E in addition to (i) all instances of unauthorized access of the facial recognition technology, including any unauthorized access by employees of the campus police department; (ii) vendor information, including the specific algorithms employed; and (iii) if applicable, data or links related to third-party testing of such algorithms, including any reference to variations in demographic performance. If any information or data (a) contains an articulable concern for any person's safety; (b) is otherwise prohibited from public disclosure by federal or state statute; or (c) if disclosed, may compromise sensitive criminal justice information, such information or data may be excluded from public disclosure. Nothing herein shall limit disclosure of data collected pursuant to subsection E when such disclosure is related to a writ of habeas corpus.

For purposes of this subsection, "sensitive criminal justice information" means information related to (1) a particular ongoing criminal investigation or proceeding, (2) the identity of a confidential source, or (3) law-enforcement investigative techniques and procedures.

G. At least 30 days prior to procuring facial recognition technology, a campus police department shall notify in writing the institution of higher education that such department serves of such intended procurement, but such notice shall not be required if such procurement is directed by the institution of higher education.

H. Any facial recognition technology operator employed by a campus police department who (i) violates the department's policy for the use of facial recognition technology or (ii) conducts a search for any reason other than an authorized use is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall be required to complete training on the department's policy on and authorized uses of facial recognition technology before being reinstated to operate such facial recognition technology. The campus police department shall terminate from employment any facial recognition technology operator who violates clause (i) or (ii) for a second time. A facial recognition technology operator who commits a second or subsequent violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 537; 2022, c. 737.

§ 23.1-816. Extending police power of public institutions of higher education beyond boundaries; jurisdiction of general district courts; duty of attorneys for the Commonwealth.

A. The governing board of any public institution of higher education that leases, rents, or owns satellite campuses, public buildings, and other property located beyond the limits of such institution has and may exercise full police power over such property and individuals using such property. The governing board may prescribe policies and regulations for the operation and use of such properties and the conduct of individuals using such property and may provide appropriate administrative penalties for the violation of such policies and regulations.

B. The general district court for the locality in which violations of law or policies or regulations established by the governing board of the institution pursuant to subsection A occurs has jurisdiction over all cases involving such violations.

C. It is the duty of each local attorney for the Commonwealth to prosecute all violators of the laws pertaining to the provisions enumerated in this article that occur in such locality.

1991, c. 711, § 23-234.1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-817. Inspection of criminal incident information.

Criminal incident information of any campus police department established pursuant to § 23.1-810, including (i) the date, time, and general location of the alleged crime; (ii) a general description of injuries suffered or property damaged or stolen; and (iii) the name and address of any individual arrested as a result of felonies committed against persons or property or misdemeanors involving assault, battery, or moral turpitude reported to the campus police, shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizen of the Commonwealth, currently registered student of the institution, or parent of a registered student during the regular office hours of the custodian of such information unless such disclosure is prohibited by law. If the release of such information is likely to jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence, such information may be withheld until such damage is no longer likely to occur from the release of such information.

1994, c. 457, § 23-232.2; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-818. Security departments and other security services.

Nothing in this article shall abridge the authority of the governing board of a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education to establish security departments, whose officers and employees shall not have the powers and duties set forth in § 23.1-815, in place of or in addition to campus police departments, rely upon local or state police forces, or contract for security services from private parties.

1977, c. 79, § 23-238; 2016, c. 588.