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Lethal use of force a main topic at SLC Council work session

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Sep. 16, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Down a third-floor hallway, through the last door on the right, and in a small room, eight men and women discussed one of the hottest topics happening now in our country.

"The public doesn't deserve swift justice, but they deserve transparent process,” said Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott.

“This issue is certainly not unique to Salt Lake City, particularly nationally with recent incidents,” said Stan Penfold, also a city councilman.

“Without really looking into it and not talking as a body in public, we're not going to be able to figure out where things are — and that's what we're trying to accomplish tonight,” said councilman Charlie Luke.

Tuesday night wasn’t an actual city council meeting, but the members held a work session to talk about topics they know need to be addressed.

This particular topic involved the lethal use of force by officers within the police department, and if something can be done to make sure officers have the best training possible.

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“Instead of pointing fingers at the police department and saying ‘ou should have done this or you could have done this,’ it's working with them to try and figure out what do they need to do their job better,” said Luke, who is also the chairman of Salt Lake’s city council.

It’s important to note this meeting wasn't to attack the Salt Lake City Police Department, and no decisions were made. Council members said they only wanted to start the discussion, especially in light of recent police shootings.

This was only a meeting to talk about public trust, lethal force and possible additional training procedures, they said.

The council talked about the possibility finding out what additional training might be available to officers, so when split-second decisions have to be made officers are better prepared to make them.

"If we look and feel we don't have enough training, that our officers don't have enough training, we'll have to fund that and figure that out,” Luke said.

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Alex Cabrero

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