SLC Police clarify procedures as SLC Council discusses changes to budget

Jun 10, 2020, 4:32 PM | Updated: 4:38 pm

SLC PD clarifies chokeholds...

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Council has been inundated with for weeks with hundreds of calls to stop a planned increase to the police budget and instead defund the department entirely. 

While it’s unlikely that the Salt Lake City Police Department will be defunded, the council is eyeing changes to the budget, as well as rethinking officers’ responsibilities. 

The council will go into more detail on the police budget during a special meeting on Thursday. But on Tuesday they signaled support for putting more money in a special account that would have more controls over how it is spent. 

They are also looking at a one-time property tax increase to fund body cameras for every officer. 

But the biggest change may come from the council reassessing the police’s responsibilities. 

Councilmember Amy Fowler, who has worked as a public defender, wondered if there are some activities like jaywalking that could be turned into infractions or decriminalized. 

“As a city, we have the opportunity to go through that criminal code and say, ‘What are some of the things that we can get rid of, and maybe make a civil fine, too?'” Fowler said. 

Councilmember Darin Mano was one of many on the dais who said he would like to shift some of the police’s responsibilities to social services. 

“Is it right that they’re trying to be the person that responds to people with substance abuse or mental health issues? And I think the answer, to me, is no,” Mano said. 

Mano believes more spending on social services will ultimately reduce police calls. 

Chief Mike Brown said he supports increasing the budget for social services. 

He also denied that there is a problem with systemic racism in his department, but believes cutting the budget would be unwise. 

“Every beat has a police officer in it. So, there is some ownership to that beat. But, really, these officers become part of the community at which they serve. If you’re going call to call to call, you never have that opportunity,” Brown said.  

The chief also took questions from the council about police practices and denied that they use chokeholds, tear gas, or rubber bullets. 

Even so, he wants to update department policy to explicitly ban those practices. 

“We don’t do these things, but it should be stated in black and white [that] these are prohibited,” Brown said. 

In fact on Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Police Department did formalize a few of its policies.  Copies of portions of the policy manual, provided to KSL Newsradio, now explicitly state that “the use of tear gas on crowds is prohibited.” 

The guidelines for chokeholds were also clarified.  The SLCPD Policy Manual now states that “Officers are strictly prohibited from applying chokeholds or direct force to the mouth, neck, or throat that will intentionally compress the airway or restrict an individual’s ability to breathe unless the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death to the officer or other person(s).”



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday,...


Target removes some LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise over threats to employees

Target is the latest company to face backlash over support for the LGBTQ+ community by selling Pride products.

10 hours ago

The summer heat record in 2022 for Utah shattered records. As we look to this year, meteorologists ...

Lindsay Aerts

The record-breaking heat of summer 2022 unlikely to repeat in Utah this year

The summer of 2023 was one for the Utah heat record books with a whopping 34 days of triple-digit temperatures.

10 hours ago

Monday marked the 40th anniversary of a significant event in Utah. On May 29, 1983, over 5,000 Utah...

Shelby Lofton

Utah historian uncovers artifacts from 1983 floods

A commemorative book and other "flea market finds" offer a glimpse into the 1983 Utah flood (when State Street turned into a river.)

10 hours ago


Andrew Adams

Hydrologist optimistic about Salt Lake County runoff picture as thunderstorm threat looms

Hydrologist, Brian McInerney, most of the significant creeks in Salt Lake County appear to be trending in a positive direction.

10 hours ago

The U.S. Capitol is seen on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Washington. President Joe Biden’s administ...

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

Debt ceiling deal exposes Biden and McCarthy’s weaknesses with their parties’ extremes

The bill faces a gauntlet of votes starting Tuesday, when it goes before the powerful House Rules Committee.

10 hours ago

two people sit by their son's grave on memorial day...

Associated Press

Biden on Memorial Day lauds generations of fallen US troops who ‘dared all and gave all’

Biden connected the sacrifices of some 400,000 Americans buried at Arlington to the work of U.S. troops deployed around the world today.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

SLC Police clarify procedures as SLC Council discusses changes to budget