State offers Salt Lake Police three recommendations following audit

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Utah state offers three suggestions to SLCPD following audit. (Photo: Morgan Saxton / KUTV)

(KUTV) — No, it's not January but Utah lawmakers met at Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning.

The law enforcement and criminal justice interim committee met to discuss the audit of the Salt Lake Police Department.

According to the office of the state auditor their findings were found favorable.

“There was no specific incident that caused us to look at this," said Performance Auditor Daniel Holladay, representing the state of auditor's office. "Just the general practice."

The state office looked at three areas including religious accommodations, secondary employment and internal affairs.

"At first blush you're a little bit concerned," said Chief Mike Brown, with the Salt Lake Police Department. "(However) the things they pointed out are things we could immediately work on and make our department a better police department."

The state came back with three recommendations.

First, they asked that the department's human resource teams provides more training on the Title VII Civil Rights Act.

Chief Brown told lawmakers on Wednesday that he is working with his department and city leaders to implement a training to address the concerns of employees specific to regarding religious accommodations.

The state office also suggested that the department pays officers directly for secondary employment.

The SLCPD chief says his officers are paid in one of three ways for secondary employment: the employer pays the department and the department pays the officer his or her overtime wage; the department pays their officer $30/hour; or the officer is on the employers payroll.

According to Chief Brown, his officers respond to any situation as an officer of the city, not the secondary employer.

Although the audit found the department follows all internal affairs, the state also recommended they change it's policies to address public outcry sooner following officer involved shootings.

"We used to hold on to everything and say, 'We'll let you know when we're done,'" Chief Brown said. "But with this new executive order (Mayor Biskupski) has put out, I think this is a very good way of showing openness and transparency to the citizens we serve."

2News spoke with Representative Edward Redd, District 4, after the meeting.

"It's not just the Salt Lake Police Department that benefits from this," Representative Redd said, "but police departments across the state who can look at this and say 'We better look into this and see what our policies are.'"