Host Fredericks Holds Roundtable with Tim Anderson, Reeves, DeSteph, Kiggans, and Cooper About a Law Enforcement Citizen Review Board

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Live from Virginia Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show –  weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream –  host Fredericks welcomed Tim Anderson, Sen. Bryce Reeves, Sen. Bill DeSteph, Sen. Jen Kiggans, and Kristen Cooper to the show.

During the roundtable, the state senators weighed in on a recent bill proposing a citizens review board of policing and how it’s hindering law enforcement from doing their job. They all discussed how they voted against the bill and agreed that this would put police and communities in danger.

Fredericks: I’m live at the oceanfront at a round table we’ve got a great panel here for you. For this segment, Tim Anderson is with us considering a run for attorney general just said Jason Miera’s on he is running for attorney general he confirmed that on our show. Also, Senator Bill DeSteph fresh from his power work out.

Anderson: I’m not running for attorney general.

Fredericks: He’s not running for attorney general but he might run for governor also with us senator Jen Kiggans is with us. She’s going to run in 2025. And everybody’s running for something. And then of course Bryce Reeves has graced us with his presence by phone. And now we understand we didn’t want him here because we understand he’s not shaved or cut his hair or taken a shower in what five or six weeks? (Laughter) So we just said look just do phone you know because this is you know you have to be at the oceanfront. It’s very cavalier. Security probably wouldn’t let you upstairs. So he’s by phone. Senator Reeves, you’re with Anderson, DeSteph, Jen Kiggans, Kristen Cooper, and me. Great to have you, man.

Reeves: It’s great yeah it’s great to be around good company. I’m just wondering when I’m going to see everyone again. We’re on a 48-hour recall notice. So I’m kind of waiting to see when we go back to Richmond.

Fredericks: Well, let’s talk about Richmond and the headline story we’ve got today on The Virginia Star. By the way, go to virginiastar.com. It says Virginia Senate Gives Governor Power to Oust Police Officers. I guess was SB 530 or something it’s got a number of reforms in it. But basically, there’s a panel that can fire cops. What is up with that? And I’ll let everybody weigh in. Start with Reeves.

Reeves: Well I would just tell you what it’s doing is given the ability for localities should they choose the option to set up police review boards. And I voted against the bill. I think it’s a bad bill. I think there have to be some criteria if you’re even going to do that to have people that have served in law enforcement or at least have an understanding of it.

And what you’re going to run into is depending on the political nature of the group that’s put in there they might be replacing chiefs like you’ve seen in other states if they don’t like the way law enforcement is being enforced. And so I think it takes away authority from your police department and gives it to potential political appointees to do what they want to. And I think it’s bad. It’s a very bad thing for law enforcement. That’s my personal opinion having been a cop.

DeSteph: Well I think Jen, Bryce, and myself all voted no on that bill. It was a horrible bill. We have a police review board now in Virginia Beach that makes a recommendation to the chief of police. What you’re doing is usurping the authority of the chief of police. Not a smart thing. You have a chief of police for a reason. Our number one job up there should be the safety and security of our citizens. Not releasing criminals.

Not saying you know a certain class of citizens can don’t have to follow the law while another class of citizens do have to follow the law. That’s not what we’re about. We’re about the safety and security of all of our citizens. Not releasing people who are murderers, killers, rapists, and child sexual predators. I always believe when a jury gives somebody three life sentences plus 118 years that’s a pretty strong message to the parole board never let this person out of jail.

And our governor and our lieutenant governor and our administration and the Democratic majority have decided that they want to let all these bad guys out on the streets. And then they want to treat our police officers like crap. So you’re taking the authority away from the police officers. You’re putting them in harm’s way. The smartest thing we’re going to have to do is increase the budget for body bags because that’s what’s going to happen if we continue to eliminate no-knock warrants.

You can only serve warrants between nine to five. It’s not very smart what’s happening. If you look at who votes yes and no you’ll see the Republican majority has always voted to support our police officers. Public safety. Safety and security of our citizens. And Jen brought up a minute ago about the compassion when Barbara Favola came out and said don’t you guys have any compassion? Yeah, we’re very compassionate toward the victims. We think criminals should serve their time.

Fredericks: What was Barbara’s response to that Jen?

Kiggans: Bill is exactly right. We have compassion for the victims whereas their side is very compassionate towards criminals. And that Senate bill that you just mentioned you know that it specifically prohibits law enforcement officers from sitting on these citizens review boards. Those are the people that know their community best.

Fredericks: So the people understand. So the bill of the citizen’s review board bill, you can’t have law enforcement on the committee and they know it best. And so it also gives you that choice on this committee?

Kiggans: It well it gives that board a lot of power. They have power just to subpoena people. And their punishments are binding for those police officers. So I think and with all of these law enforcement bills. These criminal justice reform bills that were passing and the messaging that we’re sending to our law enforcement especially right now, we’ve seen what’s happened to them this summer. And we relied on those guys. Those are the people we call.

They’re not the best-paid profession out there. But they do so much. They keep our communities safe they keep our families safe. They keep our neighborhoods safe. So the messaging that this is sending to them you know these bills that are passed were just trying to find places to hammer these guys and make their jobs harder to do and unless safe for them. And that’s the real problem out there is that message we’re sending to them.

You know we met with Ken Sally a couple of weeks ago, the sheriff of Virginia Beach, and just listened to kind of the change in and attitudes you know after the Virginia shooting. He’s like you know we couldn’t buy a meal in this town. Everybody wanted to open doors for us. Buy his cup of coffee. It’s like and now people are just so non-respectful.  They would shut doors in their face. It’s a complete 180-degree turnaround of the respect that’s out there because of the culture change. So and that’s a problem.

Fredericks: 10 minutes away. And I mean you’re on the other side of this sometimes you’re defending people. What do you think of this criminal review board this police review board thing?

Anderson: It’s dangerous. I mean it’s dangerous. The message that we’re telling police is we don’t trust you. That’s what we’re telling them. We live in the safest city in the United States that’s been peer-reviewed. Virginia Beach is the safest large city in the United States.

Fredericks: Really?

Anderson: Yes. Absolutely. And so how do we need a citizens review board in Virginia Beach? Our community policing has worked fantastic.

Fredericks: For years.

Anderson: Our police department is the gold standard for police departments in the nation. They should follow what Virginia Beach does and copy it for every jurisdiction in the country. And so to give a group of citizens subpoena power, and as Bill said even more importantly we can’t do no-knock warrants. So you have a hostage situation and there’s a guy with a gun and it’s domestic and he’s gonna kill his wife.

And the police have to now knock before they come in? Oh dear, you know we’re coming in. Letting you know and you know there’s a car driving down the road with guys shooting at them. Police can’t shoot back at the cars. It’s insane. It’s insane. We’re just telling police we don’t trust you. You are bad and the criminals are right. And that is not a community. That doesn’t make us safer. That makes us more unsafe.

Listen to the full show here:

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