Local law enforcement responds to police reforms

Local News

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Tuesday marks exactly a year since the death of George Floyd. Since then, more than a dozen bills were pushed by lawmakers, that would have made changes to policing in Virginia, but the large majority failed.

The bills suggested a wide range of amendments that give law enforcement more training, less warning before use of force, and many others.

Botetourt County Sheriff Matt Ward explained why he feels transparency helps law enforcement interactions.

“Given the environment we are in nationally with law enforcement, I just wanted to have a more scrutinized review to make sure our officers are complying with our use of force policy and it’s all about documentation,” Ward said. “We want them to be able to perform the job function and be able to do that job and not second-guess themselves. I don’t want an officer out here in the street second-guessing themselves because of all this reform. They have a duty to maintain law and order and I want them to act appropriately based on the circumstances that they encounter.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislators website, more than 3,000 bills suggesting some sort of a change in policing policy have been pushed nationwide in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C., with 250 of those bills being signed into law.

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