Michelle Ugenti to chair new law enforcement committee

| June 18 2012
Christopher Cook

Speaker of the House Andy Tobin (R-Dist. 1)

REPRESENTATIVE UGENTI TO CHAIR COMMITTEE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT CERTIFICATION

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (June 14, 2012) –House Speaker Andy Tobin appointed Representative Michelle Ugenti (R-Dist. 23) 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 (cities; towns; police functions; revocation).

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.

In the spirit of the legislation, the committee will:

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.” Confident in his choice to lead the committee, Speaker Tobin said, “Representative Ugenti’s role as Chairman of the House Government Committee has given her a clear understanding of the circumstances that have led us to establish this new body. She presided over many hours of testimony regarding this matter. That experience, coupled with her exemplary leadership, will prove to be indispensible.”

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