Governor Cox ratified House Bill 327 on Tuesday. According to Marcus Stevenson, UPD board chair and mayor of Midvale City, “What this law means just on the surface level is that this is going to remove the Sheriff and force UPD communities to go back to the drawing board about how we want to view policing in our communities.
Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South, is the bill’s sponsor. According to Jordan, the law addresses difficulties with double taxation and the conflict of interest that arises when a county sheriff also serves as the CEO of a police organization. Yet according to Mayor Stevenson, this legislation places the department in a difficult position.
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According to Stevenson, this will have a significant impact on our communities. “This is raising issues with our cops and citizens, and to me, it just seems like a major overreach from the state, sadly,” said one neighbor. The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office has until July 2025 to secede from UPD, according to the passed legislation. To give them time to make sure everything goes properly for cops and the public, the UPD board, however, said they want that to happen by July 2024.
“My intention was to give Salt Lake County notice that it intended to leave the Unified Police Department as of December 31, 2024. however, after hearing what you have to say today, “Sheriff Rivera made the statement Thursday morning at the UPD board meeting. “Since we want to cooperate with you, we might move the deadline to July 2024 if that would be more convenient for you.
The increase in openness and empowerment of the sheriff and local communities, according to Rep. Teuscher, are the objectives of his bill. We’ll be overlapping more now that the county sheriff has her own deputies to patrol the entire county, make sure it’s safe, and accomplish her aims and objectives.
We will have the chance to guarantee that the public may have the policing services they require. In the coming months and years, questions regarding the reorganization will need to be resolved. “There is a significant question: Would the county council be involved? If they are unable to do so, it has significant implications for the townships.
If there are no townships participating, then there are only the three remaining cities; is this financially feasible for the three cities? Mayor Stevenson elucidated. Midvale, Millcreek, Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Copperton, White City, Brighton, Emigration Canyon, and Salt Lake County are currently served by UPD.
In order to assess how the new UPD organization may be organized, Mayor Stevenson stated that by July of this year, they aim to hear from every municipality about their future policing plans. The fact that law enforcement is still in charge of keeping people safe is the main point that officials want to make. Police will still exist; they’ll just be set up slightly differently.
“Policing in communities will continue to take place during the next two years, regardless of the new structure’s appearance or the decisions made by various communities. Every resident needs to be aware that public safety measures will be in place, said Stevenson.
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