Public Safety

Virginia Attorney General Outlines New 21st Century Policing Initiative

Hostage Situation in the West End of Alexandria, Virginia
Regional trainings and contemporary training academy materials will help police safely and
effectively protect our communities while promoting fair and equal treatment for all

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced the first in a series of initiatives to promote safe, impartial, 21stcentury policing in Virginia, and to promote mutual trust and positive relationships between Virginia law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. After months of discussions with stakeholders including law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and others, Attorney General Herring will be launching a dual-track training initiative to provide current and future law enforcement officers with opportunities for contemporary, evidence-based training on topics including impartial policing, bias awareness, situational decision making, de-escalation, and use of force.

“Here in Virginia, we all share the common goals of ensuring that police can safely and effectively protect our communities, while guaranteeing that everyone is treated fairly and equally,” said Attorney General Herring. “Those two goals are not in conflict. In fact, they’re inextricably linked, and we have to get them both right if we’re going to have the safe, successful communities we all want.

“Events across the country and even in the Commonwealth over the last year have tested the relationships between law enforcement agencies and their communities, maybe like never before. Fatal encounters between law enforcement officers and citizens, and the resulting community responses, have forced every community to take a close look at the way we police ourselves. I believe that we as a Commonwealth are strong enough to ask those hard, fundamental questions and seek the truth, wherever it leads.

“Over the last year, my team and I have met with community leaders, law enforcement officers, and other stakeholders to see what we should be doing as a Commonwealth to promote safe, impartial, 21st century policing, and to help bring communities and their law enforcement agencies closer together.

“Based on these conversations, I am launching a dual-track training initiative that will promote safe, impartial, 21st Century policing both in the short term and in the years to come. This dual-track training initiative will give new and experienced officers additional skills and tactics for safely dealing with potentially confrontational situations, and for ensuring that each member of the community is treated fairly and equally. These are the skills that can build trust, encourage communication and interaction, bring communities and their police departments closer together, make communities safer, and ultimately, save lives.”

(Photo via Peter Heywood, on Flickr)

Lee Hernly, Editor
the authorLee Hernly, Editor
Founder & Editor
Lee Hernly is the Founder and Editor of Port City Wire, Alexandria, Virginia's best source for hyper-local news, opinion, and events. I live in the Old Town Alexandria area with my fantastic wife and son Sam. Oh, there’s Serena & Bea too. I’m so excited to meet new readers and see where you are from! Please be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can check it out!

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