NEWS RELEASE Contact: Chief, Cynthia McAlister
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-338-7422
POLICE DEPARTMENT TO COLLECT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR COMPLIANCE WITH COMMUNITY POLICING ACT
PURCELLVILLE, Va. July, 1, 2020 — The Virginia Community Policing Act, House Bill 1250, takes effect, today, July 1, 2020. This law requires law enforcement and State Police to collect certain information from drivers during all motor vehicle (traffic) and investigatory stops, and prohibits law enforcement officers and State Police from engaging in bias-based policing. The Department of State Police will create the Community Policing Reporting Database into which sheriffs, police forces, and State Police officers report certain data pertaining to these stops. The purpose of the database is to track and analyze traffic stops and complaints alleging use of excessive force to determine the existence and prevalence of the practice of bias-based profiling, and possible excessive use of force.
In order to comply with this new law, the Purcellville Police Department will need to collect additional information from drivers during a traffic or investigatory stop. Therefore, the public should be aware that our police officers will be asking supplementary questions during motor vehicle stops. The bill requires that each time a local law-enforcement officer or State Police officer stops a driver of a motor vehicle the officer must collect the following data based on the officer’s observation or information provided to the officer by the driver:
- Race, ethnicity, age, and gender of the person stopped
- Reason for the stop
- Location of the stop
- Whether a warning, written citation, or summons was issued or whether any persons were arrested
- If a warning, written citation, or summons was issued or an arrest was made, the warning provided, violation charged, or crime charged
- Whether the vehicle or any person was searched
In addition to reporting the information required in the Community Policing Act, the Purcellville Police Department currently conducts internal investigations on any use of force by an officer to determine if excessive force was used. All reported citizen complaints regarding the conduct of a Purcellville police officer are investigated by the Department’s Internal Affairs section. In order to ensure transparency, the Purcellville Police Department’s Annual Report lists the number of complaints (both internal and external) filed on Department members, and the outcomes of each. We remain committed to ensure the safety and respect of all those we serve, and hold our officers accountable to the highest professional standards.
The Town of Purcellville, Virginia
“Purcellville-your small Town, where history and progress intersect and people prosper,” is an award-winning town of over 10,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 50 miles west of Washington, DC. Having received the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities, Purcellville continues to be honored for its green initiatives with most recently being the Tree City USA recipient for the 12th year. The Town was reaffirmed as a AAA rated community by S&P Global Ratings, the highest credit rating possible, and is recognized as one of the safest towns in Virginia. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, which has been converted to a multi-use trail from Alexandria, VA to Purcellville, the Town has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, equestrian activities, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at www.purcellvilleva.gov.