Interim is Here
Most of the work preparing for the 2022 session begins to occur next month. Interim committee assignments have been made and interim study items have been approved. You can find interim committee assignments here.
Approved interim study items can be found here.
In their announcement President Adams and Speaker Wilson noted the careful selection of those representatives and senators assigned to these committees. Their announcement can be read here.
I am not only pleased to announce that I will remain on the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and Political Subdivisions committees I am excited for the following study items that will be investigated during the interim:
"Years of service timeframes and post-retirement reemployment restrictions." This is related to the years of service required by public safety before an officer or firefighter can retire and will address when a police officer or firefighter may come back to service if they would like after a "cooling off period."
"Recruitment and retention: Study the current status of recruitment and retention efforts among law enforcement agencies." Did you know that nearly every public safety agency in the state has vacancies that are going unfilled because qualified candidates are dwindling in their availability and desire to serve? According to a Sheriff representing the Utah Sheriff's Association there are over 1,100 law enforcement vacancies statewide. This is not sustainable. Sheriff's and Chiefs want their deputies and officers to be pro-active in their duties, but that is often thwarted and law enforcement agencies are simply responding call to call making them reactive.
"Mental health and public safety: Study the various ways in which mental health, law enforcement, and public safety intersect." Police officers and EMS over the last few years have been inundated with mental health crisis calls; neither are experts in mental health, but are expected to respond and de-escalate those dealing with severe mental illness, or suicidal tendencies. Neither of these is criminal, but getting any psychiatric help in a crisis is proving futile to those who truly need it.
I am just as excited to start interim as I was to begin my first session. Great things are happening in Utah, especially in Weber and Box Elder County.