7 LONG TITLE
8 Committee Note:
9 The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10 Legislative Vote: 15 voting for 0 voting against 1 absent
11 General Description:
12 This bill amends the liability provisions for dog bites relating to law enforcement
13 activities and requires the annual certification of law enforcement canines and handlers.
14 Highlighted Provisions:
15 This bill:
16 ▸ amends the liability provision for dog bites relating to law enforcement activities to
17 require certification of dogs and handlers, a written policy on the use of dogs, and
18 compliance with the policy; and
19 ▸ enacts the Law Enforcement Canine Team Certification Act, to require certification
20 and training of dogs and handlers.
21 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23 Other Special Clauses:
25 Utah Code Sections Affected:
27 18-1-1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 92
29 53-6-401, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30 53-6-402, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31 53-6-403, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
34 Section 1. Section 18-1-1 is amended to read:
35 18-1-1. Liability and damages for dog injury -- Dogs used in law enforcement.
36 (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2), a person who owns or keeps a dog is
37 liable for an injury caused by the dog, regardless of whether:
38 (i) the dog is vicious or mischievous; or
39 (ii) the owner knows the dog is vicious or mischievous.
40 (b) Damages for an injury described in Subsection (1)(a) shall be determined in
41 accordance with Section 78B-5-818.
42 (2) Neither the state nor any county, city, metro township, or town in the state nor any
43 peace officer employed by the state, a county, a city, a metro township, or a town shall be liable
44 in damages for an injury caused by a dog, if:
45 (a) the dog [
46 assist in law enforcement[
47 Chapter 6, Part 4, Law Enforcement Canine Team Certification Act;
48 (b) the governmental agency has adopted a written policy on the necessary and
49 appropriate use of dogs in official law enforcement duties;
50 (c) the actions of the dog's handler do not violate the agency's written policy; and
52 apprehension, arrest, or location of a suspected offender or in maintaining or controlling the
53 public order.
54 Section 2. Section 53-6-401 is enacted to read:
56 53-6-401. Definitions.
57 As used in this part:
58 (1) "Council" means the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council created in
59 Section 53-6-106.
60 (2) "Qualifying canine certifying entity" means an entity that certifies law enforcement
61 canines and law enforcement canine handlers in accordance with the standards developed under
62 Section 53-6-403.
63 Section 3. Section 53-6-402 is enacted to read:
64 53-6-402. Law enforcement canine and handler certification.
65 (1) Each law enforcement canine in the state shall be initially certified and annually
66 recertified by a qualifying canine certifying entity.
67 (2) Each law enforcement canine handler in the state shall be initially certified and
68 annually recertified by a qualifying canine certifying entity.
69 Section 4. Section 53-6-403 is enacted to read:
70 53-6-403. Canine and handler certification standards and criteria--Rules.
71 In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
72 council shall establish and maintain required standards for the training, certification, and
73 recertification of:
74 (1) law enforcement canines; and
75 (2) law enforcement canine handlers.