SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- A bill, HB 0334 requiring police training on how to respond to calls involving people with autism and mental health disorders is one step away from heading to Governor Spencer Cox’s desk.
The House voted 70-0 Wednesday to pass HB 0334 sponsored by Representative Steve Elison, which would require police to get “specialized training on intervention responses to people with austim, mental health, or other nurological or developmental disorders,” Elison said to the House floor before the vote.
Elison said the bill doesn’t specify how long the training has to be.
The bill also would be requiring additional police training annually. If an officer does not pass the training then they cannot proceed with duty.
It was inspired after a 13 year old Salt Lake boy with autism, who ran from police, was shot multiple times. The family of the seriously injured boy sued the Salt Lake City Police Chief and one of the department’s officers in federal court after the officer-involved shooting.
Attorneys for the family argue that the boy was never a threat to officers or the community and that potentially deadly force should have never been used.
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