A section of a new law may have put the status of police reserves in this northern Utah community in doubt.
HB308, effective this month, is meant to clarify language already on the books regarding the categories of police officers in Utah. As passed, the bill deleted the reserve-auxiliary officer designation.In its place, it simply says "law enforcement officers."
Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner said that deletion becomes problematic for him; he has about 45 reserve officers, but most of them are not certified peace officers with arrest authority.
To complete their training at the state police academy is an expensive proposition, Greiner said.
The reserve officers work traffic and crowd control at about 60 different functions throughout the year, including the Pioneer Day Rodeo, the Downtown Ogden Street Festival and the annual Pops Concert at Weber State University. They also guard crime scenes and assist patrol officers in their duties.
Without the volunteer services of the reserves, Greiner said it would cost the city at least $250,000 to pay certified peace officers to do the work.
Greiner said the issue arose last week at a meeting of the Olympic Security Committee attended by about 10 police chiefs from across the Wasatch Front.
"I told them I thought there might have been some oversight with this bill because it adversely affected us considerably," he said.
Greiner said he received assurances from legislators at the meeting that the problem would be addressed in the next session of the Legislature.