Utah officers may have to report every time they point their gun at someone

Feb 10, 2021, 10:24 AM | Updated: 4:10 pm
Utah is among a number of states that are allowing police agencies to report bad cops to other agen...
Utah is among a number of states that are allowing police agencies to report bad cops to other agencies. (PHOTO: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill would require Utah officers to file a report every time they point a firearm or Taser at someone. 

Documenting when Utah officers draw a weapon

HB264 is sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City. She said the idea evolved over time after speaking with community leaders, Black Lives Matter and other organizations. 

“There are just some requirements within that incident, so [officers] would have to identify the individual when the incident occurred and document it within a 48 hour period,” she explains. “Then their supervisor would review it and submit that report.”

Looking to expand data

Scott Stephenson, the director of Peace Officer Standards and Training in Utah, is also on board with the idea. He claimed the bill would help law enforcement expand their data, which according to him, is “an area that is very lacking.”

“I also think it can benefit law enforcement and the public so they can see the decisions that officers are making when they decide not to pull the trigger,” he explained. “Frankly, the only time we hear of some semblance of that information is when bad situations happen and an officer has pulled their trigger.”

Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, also spoke in support of the bill, hoping that it will help prevent unnecessary pointing of firearms.

“The more you’re paying attention to how often you’re doing it because you have to document it, hopefully, the less you will do it unnecessarily,” he said.

Some Republican lawmakers also supported the bill, saying that such incidents are important to record. It has now been forwarded to the full House for consideration.

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Utah officers may have to report every time they point their gun at someone