Local police are trying to draft rules that will allow them to turn down applicants for an identification card that soon will be required for all bar and private club employees in Sandy.
As passed by the City Council last month, the ordinance only requires that after July 31, all bartenders, bouncers and other workers must be registered with the police department.But police have said they plan to do background checks on all applicants for prior arrests and outstanding warrants, using the results to determine if an identification card should be issued.
By denying applicants identification cards, the police would be effectively barring them from employment in the city's two bars and two private clubs.
That proposed practice was questioned by the American Civil Liberties Union's local chapter, since there is no provision for withholding an identification card in the ordinance.
Now police are attempting to write such a provision to outline the reasons why an identification card can be denied. Capt. Robert Wright said the result may either be in the form of an amendment to the ordinance or an administrative policy.
Either way, the suggested provision would be brought before the City Council for approval, Wright said, after it is reviewed by the city attorney's office. He said a proposal should be completed within three weeks.
Wright said the rationale for turning down a card applicant is still being discussed by police, but will probably be similar to that used by Salt Lake County and other area cities.
The county does not issue similar identification cards to anyone who has been convicted of a felony or a crime such as prostitution, who is under 21 years of age or who has lied on the application.
Other area cities, including Murray and West Valley City, based their ordinances dealing with identification cards on the county ordinance.
Wright said Sandy is considering allowing some applicants with felony convictions to obtain identification cards. In some cases, a past felony conviction should not be held against someone who needs a job, he said.
"People have a right to change," he said. "They shouldn't be penalized for the rest of their lives."
City Attorney Wally Miller said deciding on what grounds an identification card can be denied is awkward because the standards for turning someone down are "very touchy."
Miller said the ordinance should perform a registration function, enabling police to keep track of bar and private club employees. He said police already have the authority to conduct background checks they deem necessary.
Both Miller and Council Chairman Bruce Steadman, however, said they would review any suggestions to improve the ordinance from the police department.