Utah officers may have to report every time they point their gun at someone
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.
The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee PASSED unanimously @RepAngelaRomero’s 1SHB264 to require a police officer to file a report after pointing a firearm or a conductive energy device (“taser”) at a person. It now goes the House Floor.https://t.co/0obMJgw5Aw pic.twitter.com/XRKTNhzZ6L
— Utah House Democrats (@utahhousedems) February 9, 2021
“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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