Two bills aimed at gang-related illegal activities should give Utah law officers new tools for enforcement, according to the bills' sponsor, Sen. Jon Greiner, R-Ogden.
SB65 makes it a criminal act to intimidate a minor into joining a gang, or, through intimidation, dissuading a minor from leaving a gang. It also criminalizes the act of intimidating a minor into committing a crime, as is sometimes part of gang initiations, Greiner said.
SB75 creates a new wrinkle to the current loitering law by creating a provision that allows municipal authorities to identify "crime-free areas" and gives law enforcement officers to the ability to disperse "identified gang members" found to be loitering in these areas. The failure to respond to a request to disperse would be punishable as a class B misdemeanor and a fine up to $100.
Greiner acknowledged this proposed statute's proximity to right of assembly issues and included a clause in his bill requiring that officers "receive training to ensure protection of the constitutional right of collective advocacy."
Both SB65 and SB75 were passed out favorably by Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee.