Logan Police Chief uncomfortable with some bills before legislature

There are several bills before the Utah legislature that Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen is not comfortable with and one is House Bill 49 sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield. The bill would clarify that a person can not be charged with disorderly conduct for simply carrying a gun openly.Ray’s bill states that openly carrying a firearm in public would not be disorderly conduct as it is now. Rather, the person would need to commit some sort of questionable act to be charged with disorderly conduct.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Wednesday, Jensen said he is all for the second amendment but he does not personally feel comfortable with this bill.”What Paul (Ray) is suggesting is that we allow people to make their own decision,” Jensen said, “whether they would carry a firearm into a bank, or onto a college campus, or a high school campus, actually. It would take away from us the ability to manage that from this disorderly conduct statute.”Chief Jensen says this takes away one tool law enforcement has and he would hate to see people carrying weapons in such a way that others would be afraid for their own safety. He says whether this bill passes or not, if people fear for their safety 911 will still be called and officers will still have to respond.Jensen said that officers are focusing on how to keep citizens safe, which includes helping them avoid traffic accidents. “Stop the Main Distraction” is the theme for a concerted effort of the Logan Police Department to stop or reduce traffic accidents on Logan’s Main Street. Jensen said he was able to get a state grant after learning it was the fourth worst road in the state, considering the number of miles driven. He said too many accidents are caused by such distractions as cellphones, children, even putting on make-up.”We’ve done increased enforcement,” Jensen explained. “Once again, we take data right off the state accident form. We know what’s causing these crashes. We send officers out to focus specifically on those distracted driving issues. “For instance, the rear-end collisions are our greatest issue right now. There are a lot of factors that cause those. That’s what the officers are out there looking for.”The police chief says a year later accidents have been reduced but only by five percent. He feels there was a greater amount of traffic on Main Street this year due to flooding on 600 West and construction on 1000 West.Jensen describes the newly-completed 1000 West, “an amazing piece of road” and he says driving on 1000 West for him feels like driving on I-15.The police chief does have concerns, however. He says the speed limit on 1000 West is 45 miles per hour and there is a reason for that. He says there is a lot of residential development in the area and the road also borders an elementary school.Chief Jensen says in spite of all the room and comfort of the new 1000 West, there are good reasons why that speed limit has been set. He cautions drivers to keep that in mind.

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