Conservator of the Peace
Upon the application of any sheriff or chief of police of any county, city, town or any corporation authorized to do business in the Commonwealth or the owner, proprietor or authorized custodian of any place within the Commonwealth and the showing of a necessity for the security of property or the peace, a circuit court judge of any county or city may appoint one or more special conservators of the peace who shall serve as such for such length of time as the court may designate, but not exceeding four years under any one appointment.
Special Conservators of the Peace, Authority and Jurisdiction
The order of appointment may provide that:
- A special conservator of the peace shall have all the powers, functions, duties, responsibilities and authority of any other conservator of the peace within such geographical limitations as the court may deem appropriate within the confines of the county, city or town that makes application or within the county, city or town where the corporate applicant is located, limited to the judicial circuit wherein application has been made, whenever such special conservator of the peace is engaged in the performance of his duties as such.
- The special conservator of the peace is a "law-enforcement officer" for the purposes of Article 4 (§ 37.2-808 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2.
- The special conservator of the peace may use the title "police" on any badge or uniform worn in the performance of his duties as such.
The order also may require the local sheriff or chief of police to conduct a background investigation which may include a review of the applicant's school records, employment records, or interviews with persons possessing general knowledge of the applicant's character and fitness for such appointment and limit the use of flashing lights and sirens on personal vehicles used by the conservator in the performance of his duties.
Prior to granting an application for appointment, the circuit court shall ensure that the applicant has met the registration requirements established by the Criminal Justice Services Board.
Applicants for Registration
Effective September 15, 2004, no person shall seek appointment as a special conservator of the peace from a circuit court judge without possessing a valid registration issued by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, except as follows:
Applicants for registration may submit an application on or after January 1, 2004. A temporary registration may be issued in accordance with regulations established by the Criminal Justice Services Board while awaiting the results of a state and national fingerprint search. However, no person shall be issued a temporary registration until he has (i) complied with, or been exempted from the compulsory minimum training standards as set forth in this section, (ii) submitted his fingerprints on a form provided by the Department to be used for the conduct of a national criminal records search and a Virginia criminal history records search, and (iii) met all other requirements of this article and Board regulations. No person with a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor involving (a) moral turpitude, (b) assault and battery, (c) damage to real or personal property, (d) controlled substances or imitation controlled substances as defined in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, (e) prohibited sexual behavior as described in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, (f) firearms, or (g) any felony, shall be registered as a special conservator of the peace.