LOUDOUN SHOWS THE WAY WITH THREE PROGRESSIVE ACTIONS
In recent weeks, Loudoun County has taken steps in three separate areas in ways that promote progress in the community. It will apologize for formerly operating segregated schools, backed the creation of a law-enforcement civilian review board, and is poised to support the prohibition of firearms in county buildings, public parks, and recreational community centers. While not all citizens will agree with all of these moves, VoxFairfax congratulates the county on taking these steps.
The third-largest school system in the Commonwealth, Loudoun was also one of the last in the nation to desegregate its schools, for which the Loudoun County School Board and Superintendent plan to formally apologize in September, in an action joined in by the Board of Supervisors. To quote the schools superintendent, “Even as Americans drew inspiration from Dr. King’s call for unity and equal treatment under the law, Loudoun County actively resisted the legal and moral requirement to integrate its schools for over a decade, following more than a century of documented inequities between schools serving white students and those serving Black students.”
The Board of Supervisors is preparing local legislative measures that would require localities in Virginia to establish law-enforcement civilian review boards. The legislation, which has been passed in the House of Delegates, is aimed at enhancing the accountability and transparency of local law enforcement agencies using guidelines developed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The board certified a previous straw poll vote of 5-4. The Commonwealth’s Attorney has expressed support for the legislation, while the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has expressed opposition. Under the bill in the General Assembly, localities can determine the duties of the review board in examining law enforcement agencies, which include sheriffs’ offices. The bill would also allow the civilian review boards to have subpoena power and the ability to retain counsel paid for by the locality.
Finally, the board voted 6-2-1 to direct county staff to develop an ordinance related to the prohibition of firearms in county buildings, parks, and community centers. The motion was proposed after county staff returned with a review of several gun control measures that were signed into state law.