Updated October 2023
The last few years have been a time of major change for law enforcement agencies. Since 2020, a flood of new law enforcement-related legislation has been passed, amending mandates around training standards, use of force regulations, oversight, and other related topics.
While many states have already passed legislation in these areas, 2023 has seen yet more change. For law enforcement agencies in Utah, the passage of S.B. 124, which amends Title 11, Title 53, and Title 63G of The Utah Code and relates to early warning systems for law enforcement, should be of particular note.
One of the areas of legislative focus for lawmakers has been transparency and accountability in law enforcement. States have passed laws requiring the use of body worn cameras, mandating the reporting of certain types of records to overseeing entities, or participating in data collection efforts.
In a handful of states, lawmakers have taken it one step further by mandating the use of early intervention or early warning systems for law enforcement to track and monitor certain behaviors. Utah is the latest state to do so.
Specifically, S.B. 124, “requires a law enforcement agency to use an early intervention system to determine law enforcement officer performance under certain circumstances.”
As defined by The Utah Code, a “law enforcement agency” is:
An entity or division of the federal government, a state, or a political subdivision of a state OR a state institution of higher education OR a private institution of higher education, if the entity or division is certified by the commissioner under Title 53, Chapter 19
AND that exists primarily to prevent and detect crime and enforce criminal laws, statutes, and ordinances.
As specified in S.B. 124, to meet Utah’s definition of an early intervention system, a solution must, “track behaviors of a law enforcement officer based on performance factors.”
In addition to its provisions on early intervention systems, S.B. 124 also:
An early intervention system for law enforcement (sometimes called an early warning system) equips agencies with a digital tool to identify, track, and intervene in identified behaviors or specific patterns of conduct. Some early intervention systems also provide a method to formalize positive recognition and record kudos, commendations, and other notes regarding extraordinary conduct. In doing so, agencies can ensure that officers are portrayed accurately and holistically, providing further insight during performance reviews, when considering candidates for promotion, and if needed to defend personnel decisions.
Agencies in Utah are required to use an early intervention system for law enforcement on or before Jan. 1, 2025.
With the passage of S.B. 124, lawmakers also created the Early Intervention System Grant Program to, “award grants to law enforcement agencies to initially establish an early intervention system.” $3 million was appropriated for the grant program. Agencies can submit grant applications to the Department of Public Safety until October 31, 2024.
Grant amounts will range between $15,700 and $31,700, depending on the size of the agency. The total cost of an early intervention system typically depends on the size of the agency and the number of officers.
Agencies with questions about the grant application process can email [email protected].
Adjusting to so much change in such a short period of time has been a challenge for law enforcement agencies around the country. In addition to changing internal policies to match new requirements, agencies must also find and implement the technology solutions needed to stay compliant.
As shared above, agencies in Utah will need to have an early intervention system for law enforcement in use by Jan. 1, 2025.
The good news is Vector Solutions can help your agency achieve compliance, stay on target with newly mandated requirements, and do so quickly and effectively. Trusted by over 10,000 public safety agencies, our suite of solutions are purpose-built for public safety, easy-to-use, and can reduce the burden on leaders and officers alike.
In addition to providing early intervention-related functionality, including use-of-force tracking and behavior threshold alerts, Guardian Tracking also offers tools to support the mental and physical wellness of your officers, emphasize a positive workplace culture, encourage accountability at all levels of your agency, as well as support compliance with mandates relating to personnel records retention and sharing.
To learn more about how an early intervention system for law enforcement can benefit your agency, please request a demo today.
Vector Solutions’ suite of industry-leading software solutions for law enforcement includes training management systems, online training courses, FTO/PTO/CTO/live skill evaluations, and an early intervention and performance management system.