Panel: Local, Campus Police Should Aid Each Other

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Virginia State Crime Commission on Tuesday endorsed a plan to have college and local police departments assist each other with campus death and rape investigations if necessary, but it stopped short of mandating that authorities share information.

The panel deadlocked 5-5 on whether the police department, campus or local, first contacted must alert other nearby authorities within 24 hours. Members also rejected mandatory notification of the local prosecutor's office within that window.

The defeat of those proposals prompted an angry reaction from Kathryn Russell, who says University of Virginia officials bungled a probe into her rape in a campus dormitory in 2004. She stormed out of the hearing room Tuesday.

Russell last month testified before the commission about her experience. She wants notification standards added to the law but said improving cooperation is progress.

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