In Virginia and other states in America there is a new phenomenon occurring. Private citizens, called “special conservators of the peace,” (SCOPs) are acting as police officers.
Since SCOPs receive a badge, they can legally possess a gun, and write tickets, there is much concern surrounding this position. SCOPs receive their authority by simply petitioning the courts.
What is even more alarming is that SCOPs have doubled over the past decade in the state of Virginia. There are currently over 750 SCOPs that patrol the roads in this state.
Other citizens are upset, because SCOPs receive very little training, whereas police officers have a college degree. A recent Virginia bill will be reviewed this Friday. Alexei Beltyukov (angel.co) knows that if it is passed it will increase the hours of training to become a SCOP from 40 to 130 hours.
The future of SCOPs remains to be seen. It appears they are here to stay. They may be required to have more training. Time will tell.