During the 2015 General Assembly session one of the many focus points of reform was modernizing the current training requirements. The end product resulted in a new requirement totaling 130 Hours for armed personnel. Training for potential appointees can be found at numerous private training facilities, as well as public criminal justice academies pursuant to Va. Code 15.2-1748:
§ 15.2-1748. Powers of the academies.
A. Upon organization of an academy, it shall be a public body corporate and politic, the purposes of which shall be to establish and conduct training for public law-enforcement and correctional officers, those being trained to be public law-enforcement and correctional officers, other personnel who assist or support such officers, and those persons seeking appointments as special conservators of the peace pursuant to § 19.2-13. The persons trained by an academy need not be employed by a locality that has joined in the agreement creating the academy.
However, these new requirements have yet to be promulgated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, thus the Conservator of the Peace Program still operates under these current requirements:
24 – 42 Hours, Consisting of:
- 06E – Special Conservator of the Peace Entry-Level (24 hours)
- 07E – Handgun Training Entry-Level (16 hours) – If Applicable
- 08E – Shotgun Training Entry-Level (2 hours) – If Applicable
8 – 12 Hours, Consisting of:
- 06I – Special Conservator of the Peace In-service (8 hours)
- 07R – Handgun Retraining (2 hours) – If Applicable
- 08R – Shotgun Retraining (2 hours) – If Applicable
§ 9.1-150.2. Powers of Criminal Justice Services Board relating to special conservators of the peace appointed pursuant to § 19.2-13.
The Board shall adopt regulations establishing compulsory minimum, entry-level, in-service, and advanced training standards for special conservators of the peace. The regulations may include provisions delegating to the Board’s staff the right to inspect the facilities and programs of persons conducting training to ensure compliance with the law and its regulations. In establishing compulsory training standards for special conservators of the peace, the Board shall require training to be obtained at a criminal justice training academy established pursuant to § 15.2-1747, or at a private security training school certified by the Department, and shall ensure the public safety and welfare against incompetent or unqualified persons engaging in the activities regulated by this section. The regulations may provide for exemption from training of persons having previous employment as law-enforcement officers for a state or the federal government. However, no such exemption shall be granted to persons having less than five continuous years of such employment, nor shall an exemption be provided for any person whose employment as a law-enforcement officer was terminated because of his misconduct or incompetence or who has been decertified as a law-enforcement officer. The regulations may include provisions for exemption from such training for persons having previous training that meets or exceeds the minimum training standards and has been approved by the Department. The Board may also adopt regulations that (i) establish the qualifications of applicants for registration; (ii) cause to be examined the qualifications of each applicant for registration; (iii) provide for collection of fees for registration and renewal that are sufficient to cover all expenses for administration and operation of a program of registration; (iv) ensure continued competency and prevent deceptive or misleading practices by practitioners; (v) effectively administer the regulatory system promulgated by the Board; (vi) provide for receipt of complaints concerning the conduct of any person whose activities are regulated by the Board; (vii) provide for investigations, and appropriate disciplinary action if warranted; and (viii) allow the Board to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a registration, certification, or license for just cause as enumerated in regulations of the Board. The Board shall adopt compulsory, entry-level training standards that shall not exceed, but shall be a minimum of 98 hours for unarmed special conservators of the peace and that shall not exceed, but shall be a minimum of 130 hours for armed special conservators of the peace. In adopting its regulations, the Board shall seek the advice of the Private Security Services Advisory Board established pursuant to § 9.1-143.