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Utah's police oversight council wants more trainings on bias, de-escalation and use of force

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 13:49:03-04

SANDY, Utah — The Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council voted unanimously to expand training to police cadets on implicit bias, de-escalation and defensive tactics and use of force.

Reacting to the recent protests against racial inequality and police brutality, Major Scott Stephenson, the executive director of POST, said he also wanted to offer trainings on "procedural justice" which teaches someone how to properly treat people being arrested and understanding disconnects between police and the communities they serve.

"It's only wise that we increase the length of the academy" to accommodate the training, Maj. Stephenson said.

The Council voted to add another three days of training to the police academies to handle the increased training. In 2017, POST added training on implicit bias and de-escalation. Implicit bias training involves having officers recognize stereotypes and biases in an effort to check it.

On Wednesday, POST Council also handled officer discipline for 15 officers for offenses ranging from possession of a controlled substance to an officer taking six rolls of toilet paper from a jail at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.