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Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Improve Law Enforcement at Virginia ABC

Posted: Updated: Apr 08, 2015 02:26 PM
Governor Terry McAuliffe Governor Terry McAuliffe
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is ordering Alcoholic Beverage Control agents to be retrained following a high-profile arrest that left a University of Virginia student bloodied and shouting allegations of racism.

McAuliffe signed an executive order Wednesday ordering ABC agents to undergo retraining on the use of force, cultural diversity, community policing and interaction with youth.

The governor had previously ordered the state police to investigate the March 18 arrest of Martese Johnson.

The 20-year-old's arrest by ABC agents outside a Charlottesville bar comes two years after another UVA. student was arrested by agents who mistook a carton of sparkling water for beer. The incident sparked a public backlash, and the traumatized student later settled a lawsuit for $212,500.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe News Release:


RICHMOND - Today Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 40, which takes four preliminary steps toward improving law enforcement in the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

Last week Governor McAuliffe called for an independent state police investigation into an ABC arrest in Charlottesville in which a student was injured. As the comprehensive investigation moves forward, the Governor's Executive Order takes steps to address broader concerns about ABC law enforcement by:

  • Requiring more training for all ABC special agents in the areas of; use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth and young adults, and community policing.
  • Improving accountability and oversight by requiring that the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement will now report to the Chief Operating Officer of the ABC, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of all agency functions.
  • Examining the need for additional steps by directing the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to convene an expert review panel to report to the Governor on the agency's mission, structure, policies and training and make recommendations regarding any identified changes needed.
  • Improving cooperation and communication with local communities and Virginia colleges and universities by directing the ABC to engage with communities that are home to state institutions of higher education about its enforcement role in each locality. The ABC will update or enter into agreements that delineate an agreed-upon enforcement role for the ABC that is in cooperation with each community's law enforcement approach.
Below is the full text of Governor McAuliffe's Executive Order 40:

NUMBER FORTY 2015

IMPROVING ABC LAW ENFORCEMENT

Importance of the Initiative

Keeping Virginia families and communities safe is the highest responsibility of the Governor and state government. In performing that duty, we also have a responsibility to ensure that agencies charged with public safety have the training, resources and oversight they need to do their jobs professionally and in a way that promotes and protects the public trust.

Recent events involving special agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in Charlottesville have underscored longstanding concerns about the agency's Bureau of Law Enforcement and exposed the need for more extensive training and oversight. While we must await results from the investigations by Virginia State Police and the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney in Charlottesville before drawing conclusions about that particular incident, it is not too soon to take proactive steps to improve ABC's Bureau of Law Enforcement.

Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, I hereby direct the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Chief Operating Officer and the Commissioners of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, in conjunction with the Department of Criminal Justice Services, to take the following immediate actions:

The ABC Board shall require the immediate retraining of all ABC special agents in the areas of use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth, and community policing, to be completed no later than September 1, 2015. This training shall be implemented and certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services utilizing evidence-based training curricula and education practices that meet nationally-accepted standards.

Effective immediately, the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement shall report directly to the Chief Operating Officer of the ABC, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of all ABC functions.

The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall convene an expert review panel of representatives of local and campus law enforcement agencies and sheriff's offices, Commonwealth's Attorneys, the Governor's Policy Advisor on Law Enforcement for ABC, the Chief Operating Office of the ABC, the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and such other individuals representing relevant stakeholder groups, as he may deem appropriate in order to review the agency's mission, structure, policies and training and make recommendations regarding any identified changes needed. A report of the review panel shall be completed and presented to me no later thanNovember 1, 2015.

The ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement shall immediately review, update or enter into appropriate Mutual Aid Agreements, or other Memoranda of Understanding, with local law enforcement agencies serving communities with state institutions of higher education, with the goal of improving collaboration, communication and delineation of expectations regarding enforcement activities performed by ABC special agents in these communities.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 25th Day of March, 2015.

___________________________________

Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor

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