Landes Reviving Effort to Study Effectiveness of Law Enforcement Agencies

Posted: Updated: Jan 21, 2014 05:38 PM

The botched Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control sting involving a University of Virginia student last spring has propelled legislators to consider changing the system. As the General Assembly kicks off a new session Wednesday, a central Virginia lawmaker is reviving a bill to potentially consolidate enforcement efforts.

Delegate Steve Landes is spearheading the bill. It's something Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds actually introduced last year, but the misguided arrest of a Elizabeth Daly in Charlottesville has given the idea new life.

ABC agents mistook sparkling water for beer when they arrested Daly outside the Harris Teeter in Barracks Road Shopping Center on April 11, 2013. The Daly's arrest led to internal reviews and sparked concerns about the ABC's enforcement efforts.

Now, Landes wants to get a better idea of the history and scope of the state's law enforcement agencies, including Virginia's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control . His bill would study their purpose and effectiveness. 

"One of the things that I've been concerned about is the proliferation of additional agencies and law enforcement authority. Obviously, after what happened in Charlottesville with the ABC law enforcement officials, there's questions about what kind of training and how they handled that," said Landes.

Landes also says the study should show which agencies prove to be appropriate, and which ones turn out to be redundant and therefore wasteful to taxpayers.

The bill still needs to pass the House and Senate but, if approved, the study would take place over two years.

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