Cadets in Utah Police Academy may receive additional “anti-bias” training

Jun 19, 2020, 9:35 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:25 am
peacefully protesters feds downtown violence...
(File photo: Dan Rascon, KSL TV)
(File photo: Dan Rascon, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Cadets in the Utah police academy may soon receive some additional training. A lot of the focus is on teaching future cops how to effectively defuse a situation with their hands, rather than using a weapon.

Police Academy calls for more training

On Wednesday, Major Scott Stephenson, director of the academy, got the temporary green light to implement the training changes. Authority to implement the expanded curriculum comes from the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Those pursuing a career as a full-time police officer or sheriffs’ deputy must undergo 15 weeks of training. According to Major Stephenson, during that time cadets still need to receive extra practice fighting with their hands. He’s pushing for an additional 18 hours of training be devoted to that practice.

“You’re seeing a lot of videos where officers just panic,” he explains. “They don’t feel comfortable using their hands and so they go right for the tool belt.”

“Tool belt” is a reference to the weapons that police officers have available at their waist.

He says the purpose of this additional training is to create a sort of “muscle memory” for future cops. The idea is to have them comfortable with hand-to-hand situations, so their weapons truly become a last resort.

History lesson

Another component to the expanded training will be a focus on “implicit bias.” Right now, cadets only receive about one hour of training on that topic. Major Stephenson is hoping to have that expanded to a 12-hour unit.

The way you treat somebody in the course of doing your job is vital. – Major Scott Stephenson.

The Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council will need to vote again to approve the new hours. The vote will take place once Major Stephenson is able to provide more specifics about the training.

We want to hear from you.

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

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

GOSHEN, CA - JANUARY 16: Tulare County Sheriff crime unit investigates the scene where six people, ...
Cheri Mossburg, CNN

2 arrested in central California shooting that left 6 dead, including mother clutching 10-month-old son

Originally Published: 03 FEB 23 16:30 ET Updated: 05 FEB 23 22:44 ET     (CNN) — Two suspects were taken into custody, one after a shootout, in a “cartel-style” massacre last month that left six people dead in central California, including a young mother and her 10-month-old son, authorities announced Friday. The suspects, identified in charging […]
10 hours ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
1 day ago
SLCPD cruiser...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

At around 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, an SLCPD officer witnessed a 2009 black Ford F-150 traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. 
1 day ago
This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang, CNN

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
1 day ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
2 days ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
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. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Cadets in Utah Police Academy may receive additional “anti-bias” training