Unified Police Department

The Unified Police Department (UPD), under the guidance of Sheriff Rosie Rivera and Board of Directors, is constantly reviewing and updating policies and training to ensure officers are utilizing best practices and are equipped to serve our communities. We will continue to engage our community leaders and Citizen’s Advisory Board as we explore opportunities for improvement.

List of Training Topics for UPD

Officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary to achieve a peaceful outcome. Continued de-escalation training, provided to all officers, helps reinforce this. De-escalation tactics have been incorporated into our defensive tactics and firearms trainings which engage officers in scenarios that allow them to utilize de-escalation tactics. To give officers additional tools, UPD provides cultural sensitivity training, including LGBTQ sensitivity training.

Annually, UPD officers receive training on these topics:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Hazmat
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Use of Force & De-escalation Options
  • Legal Updates
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) Certification (biannually)
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations (every three years)
  • For the last seven years UPD officers have received additional training on the following topics:

  • 2019-2020 training cycle:
    • Domestic Violence and Victim Advocacy
    • Rescue Task Force
    • Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocols
    • Defensive Tactics and First Aid*
  • 2018-2019 training cycle:
    • Rescue Task Force/Active Shooter
    • Mental and Physical Wellness
    • Pursuit Prevention Techniques
    • Emergency Driving
    • Distracted Driving
  • 2017-2018 training cycle:
    • De-escalation
    • Body Camera Use and Narration
    • Use of Force Options
    • Building clearing
    • Searching Techniques
  • 2016-2017 training cycle:
    • Active Shooter
    • Building Clearing
    • High Risk Vehicle Stops
    • Human Trafficking Intervention
    • Officer Involved Critical Incidents
    • Diffusion Techniques
    • Defensive Tactics*
    • Personal Social Media Use
  • 2015-2016 training cycle:
    • Anti-Discrimination
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Mental Health Awareness
    • Rescue Task Force
    • Domestic Violence and Victim Advocacy
    • Mental Health Follow-up
  • 2014-2015 training cycle:
    • CPR
    • Dog Interaction
    • Defensive and Arrest Control Tactics*
    • Active Shooter Response
    • Wellness
    • Trauma Based Sexual Assault Investigations
    • Critical Incident Response
  • 2013-2014 training cycle:
    • Wellness: Mental Health, Emotional Health, Physical Health, Spirit Health
    • First Aid
    • Defensive/Arrest Control Tactics*
    • Real Time Crime
    • Critical Incident Response

    * Defensive tactics focuses on principles and practical aspects of personal safety. De-escalation techniques are included in these trainings.

    Body Cameras

    In 2017, the Unified Police Department (UPD) received a grant to purchase cameras and video storage for half of our patrol officers. Upon expiration of the grant in 2019, the UPD Board of Directors allocated funds to continue the program.

    Both state statute (77-7a-104) and UPD policies direct the mandatory activation and use of a body camera. Officers are required to activate their body cameras upon arriving at any call for service or on pro-active law enforcement encounter such as traffic stops and pedestrian stops. Failure to activate a body camera is a disciplinary offense.

    Mental Health Unit

    UPD established a mental health unit lead by a full-time sergeant, detective and licensed therapist. A total of 12 officers representing all of our precincts work with the unit as a secondary assignment. This unit is trained to respond to mental health crisis and engage in follow up with residents in need of support. Members of the unit receive and provide training specific to de-escalating mental health crisis and how to effectively communicate with individuals in crisis.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    In our continued efforts to be transparent, the Unified Police Department is providing information on our policies related to the citizen inquiries about police practices and procedures.

    The UPD prohibits the use of chokeholds, strangulation holds, or other maneuvers that place pressure on the neck or throat unless it is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death. (UPD Policy 300.3.3)

    The UPD provides de-escalation training for all officers. De-escalation strategies have been incorporated into many areas of our training; preparing officers to de-escalate volatile situations, minimizing uses of force and maximizing public safety.

    “Whenever feasible, officers should attempt to de-escalate confrontations with the goal of resolving encounters without force. Officers may only use force that is objectively reasonable, necessary and as a last resort.” (UPD Policy 300.2)

    Also, refer to UPD Policy 421.6.

    UPD trains officers to use verbal warnings before the use of any force. Use of deadly force is governed by UPD Policy and Utah State Code which says, “If feasible, a verbal warning should be given by the officer prior to any use of deadly force under Subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c).” (UPD Policy 300.4; Utah Code Annotated 76-2-404)

    UPD officers train to exhaust all alternatives before using deadly force.

    “Strict requirements must be met before an officer may use deadly force. As discussed in this policy, when feasible, officers should attempt to de-escalate situations, issue verbal warnings, or use non-lethal force with the goal of resolving encounters without using deadly force. There are however, occasions when deadly force is necessary to protect officers or other persons. An officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes such action is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.” (UPD Policy 300.4)

    Through training, policy, and a culture of accountability, officers are directed to intervene if another officer is using unreasonable force.

    “Any officer present and observing another officer, regardless of rank, using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An officer who observes another officer use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law shall promptly report these observations to a supervisor.” (UPD policy 300.2.1)

    The safety of officers and the public is our top priority. UPD Policy and Utah Administrative Code provide detailed guidelines for use of force against a moving vehicle. These guidelines are part of our regular trainings.

    “Decisions to discharge a firearm at or from a vehicle are governed by this Use of Deadly Force policy and are prohibited if they present an unreasonable risk to the member or others. These decisions shall first be authorized when reasonably possible by a supervisor.”

    “Officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others.” (UPD Policy 300.4.1)

    UPD employs a force options approach, training officers to adapt use of force to the situation and promoting de-escalation. If force is necessary, “Officers must use only the amount of force that is necessary and proportionate to the circumstances” (UPD Policy 300.6).

    In the field, officers encounter a wide range of situations. Both policy and training require officers to place the sanctity of human life at the heart of every decision and to determine whether force is appropriate and what amount is proportionate. When faced with a situation where force cannot be avoided through de-escalation or other techniques, officers must not use more force than is proportionate to the circumstances.

    “Consistent with training, some of the key factors that officers should consider when determining how much force to use include:

    a. The risk of harm presented by the person;

    b. The risk of harm to the officer or others by using force;

    c. The seriousness of the crime at issue;

    d. Whether further de-escalation techniques are feasible, including the time available to an officer to make a decision, and whether additional time could be gained through tactical means;

    e. If there is a practical, less harmful alternative available to the officer;

    f. Mental or physical disability, medical condition, and other physical and mental characteristics; and

    g. Whether there are other exigent/emergency circumstances.

    As a situation changes, officers must reevaluate the circumstances and continue to respond proportionately. Over the course of an encounter, the circumstances and threats an officer faces may change. Consistent with training and the decision-making process, while using force, officers must continually assess the effectiveness, proportionality, and necessity of their actions.” (UPD Policy 300.7)

    All use of force incidents are documented in a police report, immediately reported to a supervisor, and reviewed by the member’s division command.

    “Any incident involving Use of Force (beyond routine handcuffing of a compliant subject) by any UPD officer will be documented in a General Offense or supplemental report, as appropriate. Reports will be submitted before the end of the shift the incident occurred or as otherwise directed. The Use of Force Template contained in RMS shall be submitted by the end of shift in which the incident occurred by any involved officer and will include all the information prompted by the template, if applicable. The reporting officer will notify dispatch to add the secondary NCIC Code 5399-4.

    “Officers involved in a Use of Force incident will promptly notify the On-duty Supervisor. The On-duty Supervisor will notify the Watch Commander and the officers’ respective Division Commander(s) and Executive Officer(s) by email. Watch Commanders will note any Use of Force incident in the Watch Command log by indicating only the Case number, Date and time, and address of the incident on the daily log.” (UPD policy 300.7)


    Diversity in the UPD

    The Unified Police Department is determined to ensure our workforce reflects the community we serve.