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N. Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies Form Joint Critical Response Team

The Northern Virginia Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Committee announced Tuesday the creation of the Northern Virginia Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT).

The purpose of this team is to investigate critical incidents involving law enforcement officers within the cooperating jurisdictions. The team is comprised of seasoned criminal detectives, crime scene technicians, and commanders from the 11 participating agencies*. The Chief Executive Officer of each participating agency in Northern Virginia will have the option of calling upon this multi-jurisdictional team to investigate incidents within their localities. These incidents include but are not limited to; law enforcement involved shootings, any action taken by law enforcement which results in the death or a life-threatening injury of a person in the performance of an officer/deputy’s duties, in custody deaths, and law enforcement officer suicides.

At the completion of a comprehensive, thorough, and impartial investigation, the CIRT will present the facts and evidence of the investigation to the local Commonwealth Attorney’s Office or designated prosecuting authority. The agency where the incident occurred will continue to conduct their own separate administrative investigation.

The creation of this multi-jurisdictional team will provide efficient, effective, and a standardized investigation for these high-profile events. The multi-jurisdictional team of tenured detectives also provides a higher degree of impartiality in these types of investigations as the team members are not solely reviewing their own peer officers’ actions; the mere make-up of the team ensures checks and balances throughout the entire investigative process.

The Critical Incident Response Team was created in accordance with VA Code 15.2-1726 Agreements for consolidation of police departments or for cooperation in furnishing police services and VA Code 15.2-1736 Mutual aid agreements among governing bodies of localities.

As Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, it is imperative that we serve our communities with the highest standards of professionalism, openness, and always seek justice for all people under any circumstances. Our professional law enforcement organizations are committed to the safety and security of our communities and understand that the confidence and support of each department is dependent on maintaining the continued trust of our citizens.

Participating Law Enforcement Agencies include: City of Falls Church Police Department, Arlington County Police Department, Fairfax City Police Department (*Subject to adoption at the Fairfax City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2021.), Herndon Police Department, Leesburg Police Department, Manassas City Police Department, Manassas Park Police Department, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, Purcellville Police Department (*Subject to ratification at the Purcellville Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2021), Vienna Police Department.