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Utah officers could soon be required to report every time they point a gun at someone

The bill’s Democrat sponsor says the document would have to be filed within two days and reviewed by the officer’s supervisor.
File photo: A Salt Lake City officer points a weapon during an altercation with a suspect on January 8, 2020.
Posted at 5:49 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 07:49:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — After a record-tying year of police shootings in Utah, a state lawmaker has brought forward a proposal that could reduce those violent encounters simply by having officers fill out a little additional paperwork, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

HB264 would require police officers in Utah to file a report every time they point their guns or a Taser at someone. Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City and the bill’s sponsor, said the report has to be filed within two days and reviewed by that officer’s supervisor.

Some Utah departments already do this, and it’s been shown in other states to reduce the number of police shootings — particularly those cases where police believed someone was armed but they were not, called a “threat perception failure.”

Scott Stephenson, who is the director of the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Council, said during a Tuesday committee hearing that in many departments, the only data that’s tracked is when an officer pulls the trigger. Knowing when they pointed a weapon, but did not fire, would be valuable data for police and the public, he said.

Click here to read the full story from The Salt Lake Tribune.