ROANOKE, Va. – Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 327 and it is expected to help improve community relations between police and the public.
The soon-to-be law prohibits police from using tickets and arrests as the sole criteria for evaluations.
People who drive along the interstate have seen police conducting traffic stops.
“It’s nothing wrong with keeping them around, you never know if you break down or run out of gas,” Jasmine Williams, a driver said.
The bill prohibits criteria like writing tickets or making arrests as a main tool to evaluate a police officer’s job.
“We do not have any sort of quota system by any means or name or any definition of that,” Sergeant Spencer Hoops with Roanoke County Police said.
Hoops said the bill would not have an impact on the department, however, the officer does have discretion when writing tickets and making arrests.
“That’s not something that should be taken away, the officer needs to utilize their training and experience and taking into account the totality of the circumstance before making a decision,” Hoops said. “This is an opportunity to educate the public.”
Former police officer and Radford professor Dr. Tod Burke agrees that this bill could help improve community relations.
“Officers do not like quotas, they don’t like to be pitted against one another and it’s not an effective measure for police performance,” Dr. Tod Burke a former officer said.
Political analysts agree as well.
“I think this bill will permit people to have less suspicion of police officers, if people think there’s a quota system, they’re only being pulled over, they’re only being issued a summons so that the officer can make a quota, suspicion is not conducive to good behavior between police and community,” Dr. Ed Lynch, WSLS Political Analyst said.
Law enforcement hopes the public will see what they do to know how police operate daily.
“it’s an opportunity for the public to get involved with their police department and do a ride-along,” Sgt. Hoops said.