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H.B. 187 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Carl Wimmer

Senate Sponsor: Jon J. Greiner

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill modifies the Public Safety Code relating to peace officer certification and the
             11      procedures and grounds for the denial, relinquishment, suspension, or revocation of
             12      certification.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    provides that a peace officer who voluntarily relinquishes the peace officer's
             16      certification to the division may not thereafter reapply to the division to be certified
             17      as a peace officer in Utah;
             18          .    provides authority to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council to
             19      suspend or revoke certification of a peace officer for any of the following:
             20              .    willful falsification of any information to obtain certified status;
             21              .    physical or mental disability affecting the peace officer's ability to perform
             22      duties;
             23              .    addiction to alcohol or controlled substances unless the peace officer reports the
             24      addiction to the employer and the director; and
             25              .    violation of a state or federal criminal law;
             26          .    amends provisions referring to the POST director's rulemaking authority with the
             27      advice of the POST council;
             28          .    amends directives regarding specific rulemaking for dispatcher training and
             29      certification;

             30          .    provides procedures and requires the division to initiate all adjudicative
             31      proceedings as civil actions;
             32          .    specifies that the burden of proof in the adjudicative proceedings is by clear and
             33      convincing evidence;
             34          .    provides requirements for recusal of council members in hearings regarding a peace
             35      officer;
             36          .    permits a peace officer to request an appeal hearing conducted by an administrative
             37      law judge;
             38          .    provides that termination, whether voluntary or involuntary, or employment by an
             39      agency after termination does not preclude suspension or revocation of peace
             40      officer certification status by the council if the peace officer was terminated for
             41      cause; and
             42          .    requires a chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of a law enforcement agency who
             43      is made aware of alleged conduct of a peace officer that would be grounds for
             44      suspension or revocation to investigate and report the conduct to the division, if the
             45      agency finds the allegation to be true.
             46      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             47          None
             48      Other Special Clauses:
             49          None
             50      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             51      AMENDS:
             52          53-6-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1995, Chapter 134
             53          53-6-105, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
             54          53-6-202, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 234
             55          53-6-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 282
             56      ENACTS:
             57          53-6-211.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953

             58      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             59          53-6-211, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapters 13 and 282
             61      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             62          Section 1. Section 53-6-102 is amended to read:
             63           53-6-102. Definitions.
             64          As used in this chapter:
             65          (1) "Addiction" means the unlawful or habitual use of alcohol or a controlled
             66      substance which endangers public health and safety.
             67          [(1)] (2) "Certified academy" means a peace officer training institution certified in
             68      accordance with the standards developed under Section 53-6-105 .
             69          [(2)] (3) "Council" means the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council created in
             70      Section 53-6-106 .
             71          (4) "Conviction" means an adjudication of guilt regarding criminal conduct,
             72      including:
             73          (a) a finding of guilt by a court or a jury;
             74          (b) a guilty plea;
             75          (c) a plea of nolo contendere;
             76          (d) a plea which is held in abeyance pending the successful completion of:
             77          (i) a probationary period; or
             78          (ii) a diversion agreement; or
             79          (e) a conviction which has been expunged or dismissed.
             80          [(3)] (5) "Director" means the director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training
             81      Division appointed under Section 53-6-104 .
             82          [(4)] (6) "Dispatcher" means an employee of a public safety agency of the state or any
             83      of its political subdivisions and whose primary duties are to:
             84          (a) (i) receive calls for one or a combination of, emergency police, fire, and medical
             85      services, and to dispatch the appropriate personnel and equipment in response to the calls; and

             86          (ii) in response to emergency calls, make urgent decisions affecting the life, health,
             87      and welfare of the public and public safety employees; or
             88          (b) supervise dispatchers or direct a dispatch communication center.
             89          [(5)] (7) "Division" means the Peace Officer Standards and Training Division created
             90      in Section 53-6-103 .
             91          [(6)] (8) "POST" means the division.
             92          Section 2. Section 53-6-105 is amended to read:
             93           53-6-105. Duties of director -- Powers -- Rulemaking.
             94          (1) The director, with the advice of the council, shall:
             95          (a) prescribe standards for the certification of a peace officer training academy, certify
             96      an academy that meets the prescribed standards, and prescribe standards for revocation of
             97      certification for cause;
             98          (b) prescribe minimum qualifications for certification of peace officers appointed or
             99      elected to enforce the laws of this state and its subdivisions and prescribe standards for
             100      revocation of certification for cause;
             101          (c) establish minimum requirements for the certification of training instructors and
             102      establish standards for revocation of certification;
             103          (d) provide for the issuance of appropriate certificates to those peace officers
             104      completing the basic training programs offered by a certified academy or those persons who
             105      pass a certification examination as provided for in this chapter;
             106          (e) consult and cooperate with certified academy administrators and instructors for the
             107      continued development and improvement of the basic training programs provided by the
             108      certified academy and for the further development and implementation of advanced in-service
             109      training programs;
             110          (f) consult and cooperate with state institutions of higher education to develop
             111      specialized courses of study for peace officers in the areas of criminal justice, police
             112      administration, criminology, social sciences, and other related disciplines;
             113          (g) consult and cooperate with other departments, agencies, and local governments

             114      concerned with peace officer training;
             115          (h) perform any other acts necessary to develop peace officer training programs within
             116      the state;
             117          (i) report to the council at regular meetings of the council and when the council
             118      requires;
             119          (j) recommend peace officer standards and training requirements to the commissioner,
             120      governor, and the Legislature; and
             121          (k) [make rules as provided in this chapter.] in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3,
             122      Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the director shall, with the advice of the council, make
             123      rules necessary to administer this chapter.
             124          (2) With the permission of the commissioner, the director may execute contracts on
             125      behalf of the division with criminal justice agencies to provide training for employees of those
             126      agencies if:
             127          (a) the employees or the employing agency pay a registration fee equivalent to the cost
             128      of the training; and
             129          (b) the contract does not reduce the effectiveness of the division in its primary
             130      responsibility of providing training for peace officers of the state.
             131          (3) The director may:
             132          (a) revoke certification of a certified academy for cause; and
             133          (b) make training aids and materials available to local law enforcement agencies.
             134          (4) [In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
             135      and consistent with Title 53, Chapter 6, Part 3, Dispatcher Training and Certification Act, the]
             136      The director shall, with the advice of the council, make rules:
             137          (a) establishing minimum requirements for the certification of dispatcher training
             138      instructors in a certified academy or interagency program and standards for revocation of this
             139      certification;
             140          (b) establishing approved curriculum and a basic schedule for the basic dispatcher
             141      training course and the content of the dispatcher certification examination;

             142          (c) providing for the issuance of appropriate certificates to a person who completes the
             143      basic dispatcher course or who passes a dispatcher certification examination as provided for in
             144      this chapter;
             145          (d) establishing approved courses for certified dispatchers' annual training; and
             146          (e) establishing a reinstatement procedure for a certified dispatcher who has not
             147      obtained the required annual training hours.
             148          Section 3. Section 53-6-202 is amended to read:
             149           53-6-202. Basic training course -- Completion required -- Annual training --
             150      Prohibition from exercising powers -- Reinstatement.
             151          (1) (a) The director shall:
             152          (i) (A) suggest and prepare subject material; and
             153          (B) schedule instructors for basic training courses; or
             154          (ii) review the material and instructor choices submitted by a certified academy.
             155          (b) The subject material, instructors, and schedules shall be approved or disapproved
             156      by a majority vote of the council.
             157          (2) The materials shall be reviewed and approved by the council on or before July 1st
             158      of each year and may from time to time be changed or amended by majority vote of the
             159      council.
             160          (3) The basic training in a certified academy shall be appropriate for the basic training
             161      of peace officers in the techniques of law enforcement in the discretion of the director.
             162          (4) (a) All peace officers must satisfactorily complete the basic training course or the
             163      waiver process provided for in this chapter as well as annual certified training of not less than
             164      40 hours as the director, with the advice and consent of the council, directs.
             165          (b) A peace officer who fails to satisfactorily complete the annual training shall
             166      automatically be prohibited from exercising peace officer powers until any deficiency is made
             167      up.
             168          [(5) The director, with the advice of the council, may make rules relating to the
             169      reinstatement of powers of peace officers who have been prohibited from exercising those

             170      powers under this part.]
             171          Section 4. Section 53-6-203 is amended to read:
             172           53-6-203. Applicants for admission to training programs or for certification
             173      examination -- Requirements.
             174          (1) Before being accepted for admission to the training programs conducted by a
             175      certified academy, and before being allowed to take a certification examination, each applicant
             176      for admission or certification examination shall meet the following requirements:
             177          (a) be a United States citizen;
             178          (b) be at least 21 years old at the time of appointment as a peace officer;
             179          (c) be a high school graduate or furnish evidence of successful completion of an
             180      examination indicating an equivalent achievement;
             181          (d) have not been convicted of a crime for which the applicant could have been
             182      punished by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or by imprisonment in the penitentiary of
             183      this or another state;
             184          (e) have demonstrated good moral character, as determined by a background
             185      investigation; and
             186          (f) be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect
             187      the performance [of his duty] of the applicant's duties as a peace officer.
             188          (2) (a) An application for admission to a training program shall be accompanied by a
             189      criminal history background check of local, state, and national criminal history files and a
             190      background investigation.
             191          (b) The costs of the background check and investigation shall be borne by the
             192      applicant or the applicant's employing agency.
             193          [(i) Conviction of any offense not serious enough to be covered under Subsection
             194      (1)(d), involving dishonesty, unlawful sexual conduct, physical violence, or the unlawful use,
             195      sale, or possession for sale of a controlled substance is an indication that an applicant may not
             196      be of good moral character and may be grounds for denial of admission to a training program
             197      or refusal to take a certification examination.]

             198          [(ii) An applicant may be admitted to a training program provisionally, pending
             199      completion of any background check or investigation required by this subsection.]
             200          (3) (a) Notwithstanding any expungement statute or rule of any other jurisdiction, any
             201      conviction obtained in this state or other jurisdiction, including a conviction that has been
             202      expunged, dismissed, or treated in a similar manner to either of these procedures, may be
             203      considered for purposes of this section.
             204          (b) This provision applies to convictions entered both before and after the effective
             205      date of this section.
             206          (4) Any background check or background investigation performed pursuant to the
             207      requirements of this section shall be to determine eligibility for admission to training programs
             208      or qualification for certification examinations and may not be used as a replacement for any
             209      background investigations that may be required of an employing agency.
             210          (5) An applicant shall be considered to be of good moral character under Subsection
             211      (1)(e) if the applicant has not engaged in conduct that would be a violation of Subsection
             212      53-6-211 (1).
             213          Section 5. Section 53-6-211 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             214          53-6-211. Suspension or revocation of certification -- Right to a hearing --
             215      Grounds -- Notice to employer -- Reporting.
             216          (1) The council has authority to suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer,
             217      if the peace officer:
             218          (a) willfully falsifies any information to obtain certification;
             219          (b) has any physical or mental disability affecting the peace officer's ability to perform
             220      duties;
             221          (c) is addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, unless the peace officer reports
             222      the addiction to the employer and to the director as part of a departmental early intervention
             223      process;
             224          (d) engages in conduct which is a state or federal criminal offense, but not including a
             225      traffic offense that is a class C misdemeanor or infraction;

             226          (e) refuses to respond, or fails to respond truthfully, to questions after having been
             227      issued a warning issued based on Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967);
             228          (f) engages in sexual conduct while on duty; or
             229          (g) is dismissed from the armed forces of the Unites States under dishonorable
             230      conditions.
             231          (2) The council may not suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer for a
             232      violation of a law enforcement agency's policies, general orders, or guidelines of operation that
             233      do not amount to a cause of action under Subsection (1).
             234          (3) (a) The division is responsible for investigating officers who are alleged to have
             235      engaged in conduct in violation of Subsection (1).
             236          (b) The division shall initiate all adjudicative proceedings under this section by
             237      providing to the peace officer involved notice and an opportunity for a hearing before an
             238      administrative law judge.
             239          (c) All adjudicative proceedings under this section are civil actions, notwithstanding
             240      whether the issue in the adjudicative proceeding is a violation of statute that may be
             241      prosecuted criminally.
             242          (d) (i) The burden of proof on the division in an adjudicative proceeding under this
             243      section is by clear and convincing evidence.
             244          (ii) If a peace officer asserts an affirmative defense, the peace officer has the burden of
             245      proof to establish the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
             246          (e) If the administrative law judge issues findings of fact and conclusions of law
             247      stating there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the officer engaged in conduct that is in
             248      violation of Subsection (1), the division shall present the finding and conclusions issued by the
             249      administrative law judge to the council.
             250          (f) The division shall notify the chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of the police
             251      agency which employs the involved peace officer of the investigation and shall provide any
             252      information or comments concerning the peace officer received from that agency regarding the
             253      peace officer to the council before a peace officer's certification may be suspended or revoked.

             254          (g) If the administrative law judge finds that there is insufficient evidence to
             255      demonstrate that the officer is in violation of Subsection (1), the administrative law judge shall
             256      dismiss the adjudicative proceeding.
             257          (4) (a) The council shall review the findings of fact and conclusions of law and the
             258      information concerning the peace officer provided by the officer's employing agency and
             259      determine whether to suspend or revoke the officer's certification.
             260          (b) A member of the council shall recuse him or herself from consideration of an issue
             261      that is before the council if the council member:
             262          (i) has a personal bias for or against the officer;
             263          (ii) has a substantial pecuniary interest in the outcome of the proceeding and may gain
             264      or lose some benefit from the outcome; or
             265          (iii) employs, supervises, or works for the same law enforcement agency as the officer
             266      whose case is before the council.
             267          (5) (a) Termination of a peace officer, whether voluntary or involuntary, does not
             268      preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the council if the peace
             269      officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             270          (b) Employment by another agency, or reinstatement of a peace officer by the original
             271      employing agency after termination by that agency, whether the termination was voluntary or
             272      involuntary, does not preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the
             273      council if the peace officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             274          (6) A chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of a law enforcement agency who is made
             275      aware of an allegation against a peace officer employed by that agency that involves conduct
             276      in violation of Subsection (1) shall investigate the allegation and report to the division if the
             277      allegation is found to be true.
             278          Section 6. Section 53-6-211.5 is enacted to read:
             279          53-6-211.5. Voluntary relinquishment of peace officer certification.
             280          (1) A peace officer may voluntarily relinquish the peace officer's certification to the
             281      division at any time when a disciplinary issue regarding the peace officer has been referred to

             282      the division.
             283          (2) (a) A peace officer who voluntarily relinquishes certification under this section
             284      may not subsequently be certified as a peace officer in this state.
             285          (b) This section does not apply to a peace officer whose certification has become
             286      inactive as provided in Section 53-6-208 .

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