Amended report: 339 police forcible entries in Utah in 2014

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 27, 2015 at 4:41 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State officials issued an amended version a first-ever state report Thursday on law enforcement activity to clarify that police in Utah made fewer forcible entries last year than the original report showed.

The revised report indicates police in Utah forced their way into houses and buildings 339 times last year, not 559 as originally reported in a document issued on Aug. 14.

The original report failed to distinguish that 220 of the incidents involved SWAT teams and drug task forces but didn't include forcible entries, said Richard Ziebarth, program manager at the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

That's because many of the police agencies interpreted the law that spurred the report to mean they had to include all tactical team deployments in the category that was labeled as forcible entry in the first report.

The changes were spurred by several police agencies calling to clarify and from feedback from the public, he said.

"It was not clear, and possibly a little misleading," Ziebarth said.

The amended report also clarifies a section about the presence of weapons in the incidents. While it the original accurately reported that only 3 suspects used firearms in the 559 incidents, the new report shows 22 suspects had weapons.

The report was ordered by lawmakers in 2014 to increase transparency.

The state will continue to produce the reports in the coming years, unless lawmakers change course and decide to pull the plug.

"I suspect this will be a work in progress," Ziebarth said. "We will have a chance to iron out some of those things."

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