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First Substitute H.B. 187

Representative Carl Wimmer proposes the following substitute bill:





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 law, regardless of whether the conduct results in

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

             57          53-6-211, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapters 13 and 282
             59      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             60          Section 1. Section 53-6-102 is amended to read:
             61           53-6-102. Definitions.
             62          As used in this chapter:
             63          (1) "Addiction" means the unlawful or habitual use of alcohol or a controlled substance
             64      which endangers the public health, safety, or welfare.
             65          [(1)] (2) "Certified academy" means a peace officer training institution certified in
             66      accordance with the standards developed under Section 53-6-105 .
             67          [(2)] (3) "Council" means the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council created in
             68      Section 53-6-106 .
             69          (4) "Conviction" means an adjudication of guilt regarding criminal conduct, including:
             70          (a) a finding of guilt by a court or a jury;
             71          (b) a guilty plea;
             72          (c) a plea of nolo contendere;
             73          (d) a plea which is held in abeyance pending the successful completion of:
             74          (i) a probationary period; or
             75          (ii) a diversion agreement; or
             76          (e) a conviction which has been expunged or dismissed.
             77          [(3)] (5) "Director" means the director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training
             78      Division appointed under Section 53-6-104 .
             79          [(4)] (6) "Dispatcher" means an employee of a public safety agency of the state or any
             80      of its political subdivisions and whose primary duties are to:
             81          (a) (i) receive calls for one or a combination of, emergency police, fire, and medical
             82      services, and to dispatch the appropriate personnel and equipment in response to the calls; and
             83          (ii) in response to emergency calls, make urgent decisions affecting the life, health, and
             84      welfare of the public and public safety employees; or
             85          (b) supervise dispatchers or direct a dispatch communication center.
             86          [(5)] (7) "Division" means the Peace Officer Standards and Training Division created
             87      in Section 53-6-103 .

             88          [(6)] (8) "POST" means the division.
             89          Section 2. Section 53-6-105 is amended to read:
             90           53-6-105. Duties of director -- Powers -- Rulemaking.
             91          (1) The director, with the advice of the council, shall:
             92          (a) prescribe standards for the certification of a peace officer training academy, certify
             93      an academy that meets the prescribed standards, and prescribe standards for revocation of
             94      certification for cause;
             95          (b) prescribe minimum qualifications for certification of peace officers appointed or
             96      elected to enforce the laws of this state and its subdivisions and prescribe standards for
             97      revocation of certification for cause;
             98          (c) establish minimum requirements for the certification of training instructors and
             99      establish standards for revocation of certification;
             100          (d) provide for the issuance of appropriate certificates to those peace officers
             101      completing the basic training programs offered by a certified academy or those persons who
             102      pass a certification examination as provided for in this chapter;
             103          (e) consult and cooperate with certified academy administrators and instructors for the
             104      continued development and improvement of the basic training programs provided by the
             105      certified academy and for the further development and implementation of advanced in-service
             106      training programs;
             107          (f) consult and cooperate with state institutions of higher education to develop
             108      specialized courses of study for peace officers in the areas of criminal justice, police
             109      administration, criminology, social sciences, and other related disciplines;
             110          (g) consult and cooperate with other departments, agencies, and local governments
             111      concerned with peace officer training;
             112          (h) perform any other acts necessary to develop peace officer training programs within
             113      the state;
             114          (i) report to the council at regular meetings of the council and when the council
             115      requires;
             116          (j) recommend peace officer standards and training requirements to the commissioner,
             117      governor, and the Legislature; and
             118          (k) [make rules as provided in this chapter.] in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3,

             119      Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the director shall, with the advice of the council, make
             120      rules necessary to administer this chapter.
             121          (2) With the permission of the commissioner, the director may execute contracts on
             122      behalf of the division with criminal justice agencies to provide training for employees of those
             123      agencies if:
             124          (a) the employees or the employing agency pay a registration fee equivalent to the cost
             125      of the training; and
             126          (b) the contract does not reduce the effectiveness of the division in its primary
             127      responsibility of providing training for peace officers of the state.
             128          (3) The director may:
             129          (a) revoke certification of a certified academy for cause; and
             130          (b) make training aids and materials available to local law enforcement agencies.
             131          (4) [In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
             132      and consistent with Title 53, Chapter 6, Part 3, Dispatcher Training and Certification Act, the]
             133      The director shall, with the advice of the council, make rules:
             134          (a) establishing minimum requirements for the certification of dispatcher training
             135      instructors in a certified academy or interagency program and standards for revocation of this
             136      certification;
             137          (b) establishing approved curriculum and a basic schedule for the basic dispatcher
             138      training course and the content of the dispatcher certification examination;
             139          (c) providing for the issuance of appropriate certificates to a person who completes the
             140      basic dispatcher course or who passes a dispatcher certification examination as provided for in
             141      this chapter;
             142          (d) establishing approved courses for certified dispatchers' annual training; and
             143          (e) establishing a reinstatement procedure for a certified dispatcher who has not
             144      obtained the required annual training hours.
             145          Section 3. Section 53-6-202 is amended to read:
             146           53-6-202. Basic training course -- Completion required -- Annual training --
             147      Prohibition from exercising powers -- Reinstatement.
             148          (1) (a) The director shall:
             149          (i) (A) suggest and prepare subject material; and

             150          (B) schedule instructors for basic training courses; or
             151          (ii) review the material and instructor choices submitted by a certified academy.
             152          (b) The subject material, instructors, and schedules shall be approved or disapproved
             153      by a majority vote of the council.
             154          (2) The materials shall be reviewed and approved by the council on or before July 1st
             155      of each year and may from time to time be changed or amended by majority vote of the council.
             156          (3) The basic training in a certified academy shall be appropriate for the basic training
             157      of peace officers in the techniques of law enforcement in the discretion of the director.
             158          (4) (a) All peace officers must satisfactorily complete the basic training course or the
             159      waiver process provided for in this chapter as well as annual certified training of not less than
             160      40 hours as the director, with the advice and consent of the council, directs.
             161          (b) A peace officer who fails to satisfactorily complete the annual training shall
             162      automatically be prohibited from exercising peace officer powers until any deficiency is made
             163      up.
             164          [(5) The director, with the advice of the council, may make rules relating to the
             165      reinstatement of powers of peace officers who have been prohibited from exercising those
             166      powers under this part.]
             167          Section 4. Section 53-6-203 is amended to read:
             168           53-6-203. Applicants for admission to training programs or for certification
             169      examination -- Requirements.
             170          (1) Before being accepted for admission to the training programs conducted by a
             171      certified academy, and before being allowed to take a certification examination, each applicant
             172      for admission or certification examination shall meet the following requirements:
             173          (a) be a United States citizen;
             174          (b) be at least 21 years old at the time of appointment as a peace officer;
             175          (c) be a high school graduate or furnish evidence of successful completion of an
             176      examination indicating an equivalent achievement;
             177          (d) have not been convicted of a crime for which the applicant could have been
             178      punished by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or by imprisonment in the penitentiary of
             179      this or another state;
             180          (e) have demonstrated good moral character, as determined by a background

             181      investigation; and
             182          (f) be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect
             183      the performance [of his duty] of the applicant's duties as a peace officer.
             184          (2) (a) An application for admission to a training program shall be accompanied by a
             185      criminal history background check of local, state, and national criminal history files and a
             186      background investigation.
             187          (b) The costs of the background check and investigation shall be borne by the applicant
             188      or the applicant's employing agency.
             189          [(i) Conviction of any offense not serious enough to be covered under Subsection
             190      (1)(d), involving dishonesty, unlawful sexual conduct, physical violence, or the unlawful use,
             191      sale, or possession for sale of a controlled substance is an indication that an applicant may not
             192      be of good moral character and may be grounds for denial of admission to a training program
             193      or refusal to take a certification examination.]
             194          [(ii) An applicant may be admitted to a training program provisionally, pending
             195      completion of any background check or investigation required by this subsection.]
             196          (3) (a) Notwithstanding any expungement statute or rule of any other jurisdiction, any
             197      conviction obtained in this state or other jurisdiction, including a conviction that has been
             198      expunged, dismissed, or treated in a similar manner to either of these procedures, may be
             199      considered for purposes of this section.
             200          (b) This provision applies to convictions entered both before and after the effective
             201      date of this section.
             202          (4) Any background check or background investigation performed pursuant to the
             203      requirements of this section shall be to determine eligibility for admission to training programs
             204      or qualification for certification examinations and may not be used as a replacement for any
             205      background investigations that may be required of an employing agency.
             206          (5) An applicant shall be considered to be of good moral character under Subsection
             207      (1)(e) if the applicant has not engaged in conduct that would be a violation of Subsection
             208      53-6-211 (1).
             209          Section 5. Section 53-6-211 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             210          53-6-211. Suspension or revocation of certification -- Right to a hearing --
             211      Grounds -- Notice to employer -- Reporting.

             212          (1) The council has authority to suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer, if
             213      the peace officer:
             214          (a) willfully falsifies any information to obtain certification;
             215          (b) has any physical or mental disability affecting the peace officer's ability to perform
             216      duties;
             217          (c) is addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, unless the peace officer reports
             218      the addiction to the employer and to the director as part of a departmental early intervention
             219      process;
             220          (d) engages in conduct which is a violation of any state or federal law, but not
             221      including a traffic offense that is a class C misdemeanor or infraction, regardless of whether the
             222      conduct results in the filing of criminal charges against the officer;
             223          (e) refuses to respond, or fails to respond truthfully, to questions after having been
             224      issued a warning issued based on Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967);
             225          (f) engages in sexual conduct which impairs the ability of the peace officer to
             226      objectively and diligently perform the duties and functions of a peace officer; or
             227          (g) is dismissed from military service with a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable
             228      discharge.
             229          (2) The council may not suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer for a
             230      violation of a law enforcement agency's policies, general orders, or guidelines of operation that
             231      do not amount to a cause of action under Subsection (1).
             232          (3) (a) The division is responsible for investigating officers who are alleged to have
             233      engaged in conduct in violation of Subsection (1).
             234          (b) The division shall initiate all adjudicative proceedings under this section by
             235      providing to the peace officer involved notice and an opportunity for a hearing before an
             236      administrative law judge.
             237          (c) All adjudicative proceedings under this section are civil actions, notwithstanding
             238      whether the issue in the adjudicative proceeding is a violation of statute that may be prosecuted
             239      criminally.
             240          (d) (i) The burden of proof on the division in an adjudicative proceeding under this
             241      section is by a preponderance of the evidence.
             242          (ii) If a peace officer asserts an affirmative defense, the peace officer has the burden of

             243      proof to establish the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
             244          (e) If the administrative law judge finds there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that
             245      the officer engaged in conduct that is in violation of Subsection (1), the division shall present
             246      the case to the council.
             247          (f) The division shall notify the chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of the police
             248      agency which employs the involved peace officer of the investigation and shall provide any
             249      information or comments concerning the peace officer received from that agency regarding the
             250      peace officer to the council before a peace officer's certification may be suspended or revoked.
             251          (g) If the administrative law judge finds that there is insufficient evidence to
             252      demonstrate that the officer is in violation of Subsection (1), the administrative law judge shall
             253      dismiss the adjudicative proceeding.
             254          (4) (a) Termination of a peace officer, whether voluntary or involuntary, does not
             255      preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the council if the peace
             256      officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             257          (b) Employment by another agency, or reinstatement of a peace officer by the original
             258      employing agency after termination by that agency, whether the termination was voluntary or
             259      involuntary, does not preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the
             260      council if the peace officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             261          (5) A chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of a law enforcement agency who is made
             262      aware of an allegation against a peace officer employed by that agency that involves conduct in
             263      violation of Subsection (1) shall investigate the allegation and report to the division if the
             264      allegation is found to be true.
             265          Section 6. Section 53-6-211.5 is enacted to read:
             266          53-6-211.5. Voluntary relinquishment of peace officer certification.
             267          (1) A peace officer may voluntarily relinquish the peace officer's certification to the
             268      division at any time, regardless of whether an investigation has been instituted or an
             269      adjudicative proceeding has been initiated under this chapter.
             270          (2) (a) A peace officer who voluntarily relinquishes certification under this section may
             271      not subsequently be certified as a peace officer in this state.
             272          (b) This section does not apply to a peace officer whose certification has become
             273      inactive as provided in Section 53-6-208 .

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