Virginia’s attorney general met with members of a Fairfax County police officers group Thursday night to listen to their claims that new laws and policies are making it tougher for them to do their job.
Dozens of current and former Fairfax County police officers – members of an organization called the Fairfax County Police Association – gathered for what was billed as a town hall with Attorney General Jason Miyares.
Members of the police association say that new legislation, as well as new policies from the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, make it harder to do their job. They claim they’re having a tougher time bringing charges in some cases because magistrates are interpreting cases more liberally. They’ve also expressed concerns about inexperience on the part of some assistant commonwealth’s attorneys and say some cases are being dropped.
“I think you’ve had a serious problem of criminal first, victim last mindset,” Miyares told the group.
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Miyares said his office has powers that could permit direct involvement in some types of prosecutions in Fairfax County.
“We are in a position where my office has 14, 15 plus crimes we have original jurisdiction over that we can prosecute,” Miyares said.
“Crime in Fairfax County is down. Over the last two years, crime in Fairfax County is down almost 10%, and we are the safest jurisdiction in the entire country with a population of over 1 million people,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said.
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“Their murder rate in Montgomery County, Maryland, is almost double what our murder rate in Fairfax County is,” he said.
The Fairfax County Police Association is not an official arm of the police department. It is a benevolent association designed to assist the needs of its members.