Arlington Announces Compliance with Virginia Community Policing Act

The Community Policing Act, Virginia House Bill 1250, takes effect July 1, 2020. This law requires law enforcement and State Police to collect certain information from the driver during all motor vehicle (traffic) and investigatory stops and prohibits law enforcement officers and State Police from engaging in bias-based policing.

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) will comply with the requirements of this bill and begin collecting required data on July 1, 2020. Members of the public should be aware of the new information collected, as it may involve the officer asking them additional questions on a traffic stop. On each stop conducted by a local law enforcement officer or State Police officer, the following information will be collected, based upon the officer’s observation or information provided to them by the driver:

• Race, ethnicity, age and gender of the person stopped

• The reason for the stop

• The location of the stop

• Whether a verbal warning, written citation or summons was issued or whether any person was arrested

• If a verbal warning, written citation or summons was issued or an arrest was made, the violation or crime charged

• Whether the vehicle or any person was searched

The data collected during traffic and investigatory stops will be reported to the Department of State and included in the Community Policing Reporting Database. Access to this database will be provided to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for the purpose of analyzing data to determine the existence and prevalence of the practice of bias-based policing and the prevalence of complaints alleging the use of excessive force. In addition to the reporting required by the Community Policing Act, the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility will continue to conduct internal audits on all allegations of misconduct and fully review and investigate incidents involving use of force.

ACPD remains committed to serving with utmost respect, while remaining engaged and transparent with our community. The information and data collected as a result of the Community Policing Act will further enable us to ensure we hold ourselves accountable to the highest professional standards. The Department will continue to work proactively with the community in identifying needed data values to increase transparency with the public.

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