GOVERNMENT

Governor signs a dozen new law enforcement bills into law

Apr 21, 2021, 2:31 PM | Updated: 5:25 pm
governor law enforcement bill signing...
Governor Spencer Cox held a ceremonial bill signing for twelve pieces of legislation aimed at improving local law enforcement. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's John Wojcik)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's John Wojcik)

SANDY, Utah — Utah’s governor signed 12 different pieces of legislation into law Wednesday, all aimed at improving local law enforcement, just one day after a jury convicted a former Minnesota police officer of murder in the death of a Black man. 

The timing was not lost on Gov. Spencer Cox. 

“You can be both pro-police and anti-murder,” said Cox.

Governor: law enforcement changes came from bipartisan work

He said these new laws should serve as an example that we can achieve meaningful change through dialogue.

“Law enforcement and community partners came together to find better ways to do things,” he said. “There is a better way to do this, and this is that. We have twelve bills here today. These bills were sponsored and passed by Republicans and Democrats together.” 

The bills, now law, impact law enforcement in a variety of ways, ranging from how officers report the use of force to training on interactions with people with special needs. 

Continued conversation, transparency needed

Cox said the goal of strengthening relationships between law enforcement and the community they serve doesn’t stop here. Rather, it will take continued conversation and transparency. 

“I’m grateful for our community activists that are here representing those communities who have been impacted, often disproportionately impacted, over years and years,” he said.

“What we try to do here in Utah is to always be better,” he added. “It’s not a Democrat thing, it’s not a Republican thing, it’s just a good thing — it’s a human thing.”

A closer look at the laws

The legislation signed into law by the governor Wednesday includes the following law enforcement bills: 

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Governor signs a dozen new law enforcement bills into law