Utah police departments work to reduce use of force

Apr 14, 2021, 5:32 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:16 pm
police use of force ogden shooting...
FILE: Police investigate an officer-involved shooting in Ogden on 12th Street and Depot Drive on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. Departments across the state are looking to reduce the times they use force. (Mark Wetzel, Deseret News)
(Mark Wetzel, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Public Safety continues to seek better ways to reduce the number of times police in the state must use force. 

Reducing use of force a multifaceted challenge

Brian Redd, State Bureau of Investigations Chief, said a key part of reducing use of force cases is rebuilding trust between police and underserved communities. They continue to look for ways to improve community outreach, he said. 

“We need to humanize one another. There’s too much dehumanizing going on right now and too much unkindness,” Redd said. “I think if we can all work together as a community, we can resolve some of these issues.” 

Redd said police departments must also do a better job of holding bad officers accountable, and to investigate them even after they resign. 

“We all agree that we need to make movement in this area – we don’t want bad officers within our ranks and we don’t want them to be able to jump from agency to agency,” he said. 

No statewide system for tracking

Another challenge according to Redd is how the state of Utah tracks use of force cases. 

“The data that we don’t have is good data around use of force at a state level,” he said. 

He also said departments need to address better ways to de-escalate situations, especially among different cultural groups and with people with disabilities. 

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Utah police departments work to reduce use of force