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New Agreement Could Bring National Guard Drug Analyst to Arlington Police Department

The Arlington County Police Department and the Virginia National Guard are planning a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) that could add state-level counter drug support to Arlington’s local law enforcement.

At the Saturday (Feb. 22) meeting, the County Board is scheduled to review the MOU that would add a new National Guard analyst to the police department’s Organized Crime Section.

“This MOU will provide guidance on a collaborative relationship for a [National Guard] counter drug analyst embedded within the Organized Crime Section to assist with the analysis of data obtained through drug investigations and provide the opportunity for additional [National Guard] support,” a staff report said. “The proposed MOU would also provide additional opportunities for VANG assistance and support with respect to counter-drug activities in the County.”

The staff report says that the National Guard is authorized to provide support for activities like “investigative case and analyst support” and “domestic cannabis eradication support.” The National Guard would only be in a support role and would not be involved in “operational aspects of law enforcement nor evidence collection or preservation,” the report said.

The analyst would, at no cost to the department, also assist in analyzing cell phone records and other collected data.

“ACPD will be able to utilize the VANG personnel to further investigations at no additional cost to the County,” a county staff report notes. “In addition, the MOU will open the possibilities of utilizing the VANG in other support roles to further the counter drug activities of the ACPD.”

Photo by Jay Westcott

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