The Waynesboro Police Department is supporting a new state law that may result in drivers who are pulled over being asked for certain demographic information. The Virginia Community Policing Act requires law enforcement officers to collect information from drivers during all traffic and investigatory stops and requires agencies to submit the data to a statewide Community Policing Reporting Database maintained by the Virginia State Police.
The law also explicitly prohibits law enforcement officers from engaging in bias-based profiling, defined as actions based solely on the real or perceived race, ethnicity, age, gender, or other noncriminal characteristics of an individual. Statewide data will be analyzed to determine the prevalence of bias-based profiling and complaints alleging the use of excessive force.
State troopers, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and other state and local enforcement officers in Virginia are required to collect the following data based on the officer's observation or information provided to the officer by the person stopped: the race, ethnicity, age, and gender of the person stopped; the reason for the stop; the location of the stop; whether a warning, written citation or summons was issued, or whether any person was arrested; the warning provided, violation charged, or crime charged (if any); and whether the vehicle or any person was searched.
On July 1, 2021, the following additional data must also be collected; whether the person stopped speaks English; whether any law enforcement officer used any physical force against any person during the stop; and whether any person used physical force against any law enforcement officer during the stop.
The Waynesboro Police Department has already been collecting the required data and submitting this to the Virginia State Police. However, we also wanted our community to be aware that additional questioning by our officers may occur during these encounters to fulfill our obligation to report this information.
The Waynesboro Police Department remains committed to serving with the 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 that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest professional standards. All of the data that we have collected can be accessed by clicking one of the corresponding links below.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.