Introduced in House (04/08/2021)
VA Police Improvement and Accountability Act
This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish policies and procedures related to the accountability and staffing of its police force.
Specifically, the bill requires the VA to publish specified summaries, statistics, and contact information related to the activities of VA police officers from the previous five-year period. The VA must ensure that each of its police forces is able to provide VA employees and members of the public who contact the force with contact information to directly contact the police force regarding the arrest, ticketing, detainment, use of force, or other police matters pertaining to the individual.
The bill requires VA police officers to wear body cameras that record and store audio and video. Additionally, the VA’s guidance on the use of body cameras must be made publicly available.
Under the bill, the VA is required to track and analyze the following information regarding its police force:
- arrests made and tickets issued;
- prosecutions, ticketing, and other actions relating to such arrests;
- the use of force and weapon discharges; and
- complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions.
The VA must ensure each incident of the use of force is promptly reported to the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for operations, preparedness, security, and law enforcement functions. The Assistant Secretary must review and investigate each incident (including allegations) of the use of force by a VA police officer, including such situations where any person receives medical attention.
The VA must develop a plan that establishes minimum standards for police staffing at its facilities.
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