Chief Sponsor: Andrew Stoddard

Senate Sponsor: Luz Escamilla


8     General Description:
9          This bill adds additional grounds for taking action in relation to peace officer
10     misconduct.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     adds the following grounds to the council's authority to issue a Letter of Caution or
14     suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer:
15               •     conduct involving dishonesty or deception; or
16               •     the officer is found by a court or by a law enforcement agency to have
17     knowingly engaged in certain biased or prejudicial conduct; and
18          ▸     modifies when separations from an employer must be reported to the division.
19     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20          None
21     Other Special Clauses:
22          None
23     Utah Code Sections Affected:
24     AMENDS:
25          53-6-211, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 35

27     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
28          Section 1. Section 53-6-211 is amended to read:
29          53-6-211. Suspension or revocation of certification -- Right to a hearing --

30     Grounds -- Notice to employer -- Reporting -- Judicial appeal.
31          (1) The council has the authority to issue a Letter of Caution, or suspend or revoke the
32     certification of a peace officer, if the peace officer:
33          (a) willfully falsifies any information to obtain certification;
34          (b) has any physical or mental disability affecting the peace officer's ability to perform
35     duties;
36          (c) is addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, unless the peace officer reports
37     the addiction to the employer and to the director as part of a departmental early intervention
38     process;
39          (d) engages in conduct constituting a state or federal criminal offense, but not including
40     a traffic offense that is a class C misdemeanor or infraction;
41          (e) refuses to respond, or fails to respond truthfully, to questions after having been
42     issued a warning issued based on Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967);
43          (f) engages in sexual conduct while on duty; [or]
44          (g) is certified as a law enforcement peace officer, as defined in Section 53-13-102, and
45     is unable to possess a firearm under state or federal law[.];
46          (h) is found by a court or by a law enforcement agency to have knowingly engaged in
47     conduct that involves dishonesty or deception in violation of a policy of the peace officer's
48     employer or in violation of a state or federal law; or
49          (i) is found by a court or by a law enforcement agency to have knowingly engaged in
50     biased or prejudicial conduct against one or more individuals based on the individual's race,
51     color, sex, pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender
52     identity.
53          (2) The council may not issue a Letter of Caution[,] or suspend or revoke the
54     certification of a peace officer for a violation of state or federal law or a violation of a law
55     enforcement agency's policies, general orders, or guidelines of operation that do not amount to
56     a cause of action under Subsection (1).
57          (3) (a) The division is responsible for investigating officers who are alleged to have

58     engaged in conduct in violation of Subsection (1).
59          (b) The division shall initiate all adjudicative proceedings under this section by
60     providing to the peace officer involved notice and an opportunity for a hearing before an
61     administrative law judge.
62          (c) All adjudicative proceedings under this section are civil actions, notwithstanding
63     whether the issue in the adjudicative proceeding is a violation of statute that may be prosecuted
64     criminally.
65          (d) (i) The burden of proof on the division in an adjudicative proceeding under this
66     section is by clear and convincing evidence.
67          (ii) If a peace officer asserts an affirmative defense, the peace officer has the burden of
68     proof to establish the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
69          (e) If the administrative law judge issues findings of fact and conclusions of law stating
70     there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the officer engaged in conduct that is in
71     violation of Subsection (1), the division shall present the finding and conclusions issued by the
72     administrative law judge to the council.
73          (f) The division shall notify the chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of the police
74     agency which employs the involved peace officer of the investigation and shall provide any
75     information or comments concerning the peace officer received from that agency regarding the
76     peace officer to the council before a Letter of Caution is issued, or a peace officer's certification
77     may be suspended or revoked.
78          (g) If the administrative law judge finds that there is insufficient evidence to
79     demonstrate that the officer is in violation of Subsection (1), the administrative law judge shall
80     dismiss the adjudicative proceeding.
81          (4) (a) The council shall:
82          (i) accept the administrative law judge's findings of fact and conclusions of law, and
83     the information concerning the peace officer provided by the officer's employing agency; and
84          (ii) choose whether to issue a Letter of Caution[,] or suspend or revoke the officer's
85     certification.

86          (b) Before making a decision, the council may consider aggravating and mitigating
87     circumstances.
88          (c) A member of the council shall recuse him or herself from consideration of an issue
89     that is before the council if the council member:
90          (i) has a personal bias for or against the officer;
91          (ii) has a substantial pecuniary interest in the outcome of the proceeding and may gain
92     or lose some benefit from the outcome; or
93          (iii) employs, supervises, or works for the same law enforcement agency as the officer
94     whose case is before the council.
95          (5) (a) Termination of a peace officer, whether voluntary or involuntary, does not
96     preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the council if the peace
97     officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
98          (b) Employment by another agency, or reinstatement of a peace officer by the original
99     employing agency after termination by that agency, whether the termination was voluntary or
100     involuntary, does not preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the
101     council if the peace officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
102          (6) (a) A chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of a law enforcement agency who is
103     made aware of an allegation against a peace officer employed by that agency that involves
104     conduct in violation of Subsection (1) shall investigate the allegation and report to the division
105     if the allegation is found to be true.
106          (b) If a peace officer who is the subject of an internal or administrative investigation
107     into allegations that include any of the conditions or circumstances outlined in Subsection (1)
108     resigns, retires, or otherwise separates from the investigating law enforcement agency before
109     the conclusion of the investigation, the chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of that law
110     enforcement agency shall report the allegations and any investigation results to the division.
111          (7) The council's issuance of a Letter of Caution[,] or suspension or revocation of an
112     officer's certification under Subsection (4) may be appealed under Title 63G, Chapter 4, Part 4,
113     Judicial Review.