Police Chiefs Question Proposed Law Change

Posted: Updated: May 13, 2010 05:49 PM
Yeardley Love Yeardley Love
George Huguely George Huguely

Virginia police chiefs are raising serious questions about University of Virginia President John Casteen's call for state law changes in the wake of Yeardley Love's murder. The chiefs say a new mandate from Richmond could cause big problems with minimal benefits.

Governor McDonnell has reached out to law enforcement experts across the commonwealth for some guidance on this issue. The question is whether the General Assembly should change state law in an effort to keep college students safe.

President Casteen wants the state to come up with a way for police, prosecutors or court clerks to notify colleges when students are arrested or charged with a crime. UVA didn't know about murder suspect George Huguely's previous arrests.

But the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police says requiring departments to collect and report that information is a tall task.

"We want to make sure that whatever we do in Virginia is fair and equitable," said Dana Schrad of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. "A lot of what's in the proposal from President Casteen is fairly unworkable for law enforcement."

Among the challenges for cops would be verifying if a suspect is a college student, and if so, where. There are also questions about how to get that information to schools and what would come of it.

The association is working on a report to Governor McDonnell about the challenges with this proposal as well as measures that are workable for police. That information should be in the governor's hands by mid-June.

Reported by Adam Rhew