Bill to expand Utah sheriffs' power draw concerns

Published December 22, 2013 6:30 pm

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Clinton • A state lawmaker's proposal to put sheriffs in charge of countywide emergencies in Utah is drawing opposition from some cities.

Rep. Paul Ray has a bill titled "Primary Law Enforcement Duties for Sheriffs" filed with the Legislature, whose 2014 session begins Jan. 27.

The Clinton Republican told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden he's not looking for a fight among law enforcement agencies as much as a discussion of how countywide disasters would be handled.

Layton City Attorney Gary Crane expressed concerns about the proposal at a meeting last week of council members and state representatives.

He says the proposal would give sheriffs too much power, and the Utah League of Cities and Towns would oppose any measure that made the sheriff the chief law enforcement officer in every county.

The Associated Press