The Code of Virginia provides specific protections for law enforcement professionals participating in stress management program services. These protections ensure that communications are held confidential by peer team members, clinicians and other participating team members. Please read the attached section for a full description and applicable exemptions.
§ 19.2-271.4. Privileged communications by certain public safety personnel.
B. A person whose communications are privileged under subsection A may waive the privilege.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply when:
1. Criminal activity is revealed;
2. A member of a critical incident stress management or peer support team is a witness or a party to a critical incident that prompted the peer support services;
3. A member of a critical incident stress management or peer support team reveals the content of privileged information to prevent a crime against any other person or a threat to public safety;
4. The privileged information reveals intent to defraud or deceive the investigation into the critical incident;
5. A member of a critical incident stress management or peer support team reveals the content of privileged information to the employer of the emergency medical services or public safety personnel regarding criminal acts committed or information that would indicate that the emergency medical services or public safety personnel pose a threat to themselves or others; or
6. A member of a critical incident stress management or peer support team is not acting in the role of a member at the time of the communication.
D. For the purposes of this section, “critical incident” means an incident that induces an abnormally high level of negative emotions in response to a perceived loss of control. Such an incident is most often related to a threat to the well-being of the emergency medical services or public safety employee or to the well-being of another individual for whom such employee has some obligation of personal or professional concern.