One officer that still has his certification is Galen Reel, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Mary Ann Groves after stopping her when she drove through the town in December 2006. Reel pleaded guilty to the sexual assault, then revoked the plea and was acquitted at trial.
Last month Tilley said the subcommittee took the advice of its legal counsel in deciding not to formally consider whether to revoke Reel's certification.
Tilley said Monday that adding investigative powers to the subcommittee would mean increasing its staff. Currently the subcommittee has just one employee.
Laird said it was an important issue and that may have to happen.
"It's about public trust and fidelity," he said.
Also at the meeting, State Police Sgt. Christopher Casto, head of the department's Crimes Against Children Unit, said the State Police want to be able to subpoena private citizens' records in connection with child pornography cases.
He said the subpoena power would allow them to track down child pornographers much faster. Time can be a big factor in such cases, especially when a pornographer may be molesting a victim, Casto said.
Without subpoena power, the State Police often have to get a search warrant, which can be cumbersome and take up to two days, he said.
Kanawha County Public Defender George Castelle said giving the State Police unit subpoena powers bypasses the court system. He said a magistrate is on call in every county 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The current system may need legislation to clarify and expedite the process, but not to give the State Police subpoena powers, he said.
"One of the strengths of our criminal justice system is the checks and balances," Castelle said. "[Subpoena powers] have been given to administrative agencies for administrative purposes. Under this proposal they would be granted the power not for their own proceedings but for criminal proceedings, circumventing judges and magistrates."
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.