5-5 Withdrawal and Restriction of Police Powers
Policy Type: Local
Responsible Office: Chief John Venuti, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department
Initial Policy Approved: 3/29/2013
Current Revision Approved: 9/2021
It is the policy of the VCU Police Department (VCUPD) to withdraw or restrict the police powers of any officer who is the subject of a serious investigation, or whose continued presence on the job is deemed to be a potential, substantial and/or immediate threat to the welfare of the department, the public, and/or themselves. These restrictions shall remain in effect until the employee receives written notification from the Chief of Police or designee, stating otherwise.
All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this policy. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the supervisor to ensure that any policy violations are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.
- POLICE POWERS – The ability to act in an official capacity including making arrests, executing court papers, carrying a firearm, working off duty in a law enforcement capacity and functioning as a law enforcement officer.
- WITHDRAWAL OF POLICE POWERS – The rescission of all police powers.
- RESTRICTION OF POLICE POWERS – The limitation of an officer’s ability and authority to take certain police action, as directed by the Chief of Police or designee.
- The Chief of Police authorizes any Division Commander or designee to withdraw a sworn employee’s police powers.
- Only the Chief may determine that an officer’s police powers will be restricted rather than withdrawn.
- Reasons for the withdrawal or restriction of police powers shall include, but may not be limited to, all of the following:
- Involvement in a use of lethal or serious force
- NOTE: When an officer whose action(s) or use of force in an official capacity results in death or serious injury, they will be immediately removed from line-duty assignment pending an administrative review by the Investigations Unit.
- Failure to meet state certification and/or departmental training requirements
- Alleged violation of department rules, regulations, policies and/or procedures
- Alleged violation of federal, state, and/or local laws/ordinances
- When an officer’s physical condition or behavior indicates that they are unfit for duty
- NOTE: When an officer’s physical condition indicates that they may be unfit for duty, the supervisor shall immediately remove the officer from duty and require the officer to report to the hospital for examination, if necessary. Unless the officer is returned to duty with “no restrictions,” their police powers shall be withdrawn or restricted.
- When an officer’s behavior presents an actual or potential risk to the public, the department, or themselves
- Absence from work for a period longer than thirty (30) days, regardless of the type of leave used
- When an officer is placed on administrative leave or suspended for any time period, with or without pay
- Involvement in a use of lethal or serious force
- Any supervisor who has any information that would call into question an officer’s ability to continue to possess police powers shall immediately notify the Division Commander or their designee.
- When an incident causes a police officer to be under investigation, the ranking member of the Investigations Unit shall, as part of the initial investigation, make a determination as to whether it is necessary to withdraw the officer’s police powers, and what the duty status of the officer will be, based upon the above criteria. The ranking member of the Investigations Unit shall advise the Division Commander or their designee.
- The Division Commander shall evaluate the information and, if appropriate, immediately prepare a VCUPD-66 Change in Duty Status and/or Status of Police Powers advising the officer that their police powers will be withdrawn immediately upon such notification. The form shall state the effective date of the withdrawal and the reason for the withdrawal.
- The Division Commander or designee shall sign the VCUPD-66 Change in Duty Status and/or Status of Police Powers and designate an appropriate supervisor to serve the form.
- The designated supervisor shall serve the form to the officer. The designated supervisor shall ensure that a copy of the VCUPD-66 Change in Duty Status and/or Status of Police Powers is forwarded within 24 hours to the Chief of Police, Division Commander and the Payroll/Personnel Manager. A copy shall then be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
- When an officer’s police powers are withdrawn, the officer shall immediately turn in their service weapon, badge, cap shield, handcuffs, radio, keys, identification card and any duplicates thereof to the supervisor who serves the form. The supervisor shall note on the VCUPD-66 which items were turned in, and shall place all items in the Property and Evidence Unit. If the officer has a take-home vehicle, the supervisor shall make arrangements to return the vehicle to the officer’s unit immediately or on the next duty day.
- The supervisor shall advise the officer that if they have a demonstrable need to carry a firearm for personal protection, they may request of the Chief that their police powers be restricted, rather than withdrawn. This request and justification shall be made in writing, directly to the Chief of Police. The request will be delivered to the Investigations Unit.
- The affected officers shall continue to attend court unless instructed not to do so.
- The supervisor shall ensure that the officer understands that withdrawal or restriction of police powers is a separate matter from the officer’s pay status or leave status.
- The Payroll/Personnel Manager shall maintain a list of all personnel who have had their police powers restricted or withdrawn, and report that information to the Chief as requested.
- The Chief may assign an officer whose police powers have been withdrawn or restricted to a temporary non-enforcement duty assignment in the department until such time that their full police powers are reinstated, or other actions are initiated. This assignment shall be one in which police powers are not necessary for the completion of the work assignment.
- Administrative withdrawal or restriction of police powers are not punitive or disciplinary in nature and therefore cannot be grieved.
- Reinstatement of Police Powers:
- When the determination has been made to reinstate the officer’s police powers, the supervisor will complete a VCUPD-66 indicating that police powers are being restored. The VCUPD-66 along with a cover letter to the Chief of Police will indicate the circumstances for the reinstatement of powers and will be distributed as indicated on the form.
- VCUPD-66 Change in Duty Status and/or Status of Police Powers
- VCUPD-28 Light Duty Request
3/29/2013 - 5-5 Withdrawal and Restriction of Police Powers