Police Chief Named to Head Utah Justice Commission

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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox selected Tom Ross, a police chief, to oversee criminal justice initiatives, a first in the nearly 40-year history of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, according to the Deseret News. The appointment of Ross, who served as police chief of Bountiful, Utah for 14 years, comes after calls for police reform in Utah, part of a national reckoning on racial justice.

Ross, a past president of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, has played a role in shaping new state laws that help people in crisis get mental health treatment more quickly, plus other policies to address drug addiction and domestic violence, said the feature story.”The law enforcer of 34 years is widely regarded as diplomatic, thoughtful and a willing listener, but some advocates say picking a law enforcement official for the job at such a moment in history sends a troubling message,” said the Deseret News. “It is tone-deaf to replace a woman of color with a white police officer for this role,” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah and a member of a state coalition exploring police reform.

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