Virginia House passes bill to prohibit police arrest quotas

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation that would prohibit the state police and local police departments from issuing formal or informal quotas on how many arrests they should have in a given time period.

Updated: February 6, 2022 - 3:50pm

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation that would prohibit the state police and local police departments from issuing formal or informal quotas on how many arrests they should have in a given time period.

House Bill 750, sponsored by Del. Robert Bell, R-Albemarle County, passed the chamber unanimously, with support from every Republican and Democrat.

The legislation prohibits any Virginia agency, any department employing police, any sheriff, any police force and the state police department from issuing such quotas. Under current law, police departments are not required to establish quotas, but they are permitted to do so. Some civil rights groups have encouraged the state to ban quotas, warning it could lead to illegal arrests when officers are trying to meet quota.

Ashna Khanna, the policy director for the ACLU of Virginia, told The Center Square the organization believes ticket and arrest quotas are “generally revenue-generating measures that contribute to unjust policing and exacerbates racial disparities.”

“If passed, this policy could be a positive step toward reducing abuse of authority,” Khanna said. “Furthermore, we believe that we should prohibit police from enforcing a range of non-serious offenses, including issuing fines and making arrests for non-dangerous behaviors, thus eliminating unnecessary interactions between the police and community members that have led to so much violence and so many deaths.”

Ticket quotas are also legal in Virginia. This legislation would not affect ticket quotas.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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