Private citizens may aid State Police to keep tabs on registered sex offenders www.privateofficer.com
Currently, State Police physically check the home and work addresses of registered sex offenders for compliance. But under a proposal in the new budget plan, 40 civilians would join their ranks, assisting them with the task.
“Once hired, the individuals will attend a two week training session to prepare them to assist our existing troopers in the Sex Offender Investigative Unit,” said Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.
The civilians picked for patrol would also undergo an extensive background check.
In Hampton Roads, 10 troopers watch over more than 1,700 registered sex offenders. The plan would free up a number of troopers statewide for road patrols and other duties.
Mary Devoy, executive director of Reform Sex Offender Laws of Virginia , wants the more experienced state troopers to continue their watch.
“What we don’t want to see is ‘rent-a-cops’ who have had their 20 hours of training and a chip on their shoulder against those who bear the label sex offender,” Devoy explained.
If approved, civilian employees could start as soon as July. They would not be allowed to carry weapons but would get a vehicle to use.