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Mr. Cuccinelli hopes similar legislation will be introduced in the 2012 General Assembly session.

“This would be a whole lot simpler, could be done relatively cost-effectively, and it really doesn’t turn them loose anywhere. They’re not patrolling; they’re investigators. So none of those concerns would exist,” he said.

The Virginia Crime Commission already has reviewed the legislation. And Mr. Cuccinelli thinks commission support is crucial.

“If the commission comes out and supports it, it probably cruises through,” he said. “And if not, then it gets a lot more difficult, if not impossible.”

Delegate Robert B. Bell, Albemarle Republican and commission chairman, said that no substantive votes have been taken on the measure, but they will likely occur during a December meeting.