Ad Hoc committee to examine law enforcement certification

House Speaker Andy Tobin appointed Representative Michelle Ugenti (R) as the Chairman of the newly created House Ad Hoc Committee on Law Enforcement Certification. This committee will address matters the Legislature attempted to resolve with the consideration of SB 1433.

The need for SB 1433 arose due to the actions of the police department in Colorado City. The police in Colorado City, all of whom are faithful followers of polygamous prophet Warren Jeff’s, upheld Jeffs’ directives at the expense of the residents.

SB 1433 created a mechanism to remedy issues created by the recurring professional deficiencies of municipal police officers. It would have given operational control of a municipal police department to the county sheriff for five years if they met the following criteria: the revocation of 50% or more of police officer certifications within a specified time period by the Arizona Peace Officers Standard and Training Board (AZPOST) and a majority of the County Board of Supervisors voting to assume control of the agency.

The committee will be comprised of three members of the House of Representatives with no more than two from each party. The committee members will submit a report containing its findings and recommendations for legislation to the Speaker of the House on or before December 1. 2012.

The committee is tasked to:

Compare law enforcement agency and peace officer certification standards and procedures in other states.

Examine whether police agencies should be certified by the AZPOST.

Review the current process for peace officer certification.

Evaluate the current criteria for peace officer de-certification by AZPOST.

Consider other methods for law enforcement agency regulation.

Assess the powers and duties of the AZPOST.

The committee will be comprised of three members of the House of Representatives with no more than two from each party. The committee members will submit a report containing its findings and recommendations for legislation to the Speaker of the House on or before December 1. 2012.

Citing the need for the creation of this committee, Representative Ugenti stated, “We are duty-bound to ensure that the law is enforced fairly in every community across the state.”