The Northern Virginia Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Committee has created a regional critical response team aimed at investigating shootings and other high-impact incidents involving law-enforcement officers.
The team is comprised of seasoned detectives, crime scene technicians and commanders from the 11 participating agencies, which include the Arlington, Fairfax city, Falls Church, Leesburg, Herndon, Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Purcellville police departments.
Chiefs of each participating agency will have the option of calling upon the multi-jurisdictional team to investigate incidents within their localities. The team, officials said, would investigate the incident, rather than the department conducting its own investigation or calling in Virginia State Police. Police department leaders said the hope is to instill public trust in thorough and impartial investigations.
"This agreement demonstrates the commitment in Northern Virginia to the police chiefs involved to evolve and provide modern policing to our communities," Manassas Police Chief Doug Keen said at a Tuesday news conference announcing the regional effort.
The incidents the team will investigate include police-involved shootings, any action taken by law enforcement which results in death or a life-threatening injury of a person in the performance of an officer/deputy’s duties, in custody deaths, and police officer suicides.
At the end of the team's investigation, members will present their findings to the jurisdiction's Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. The agency where the incident occurred will continue to conduct their own separate administrative investigation.
The Fairfax County Police Department and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, where two of Northern Virginia's latest police shootings have occurred, did not join the regional effort.