The department of public safety provides a number of essential services for the citizens of Utah. The director of the department is the Commissioner of Public Safety. The commissioner is appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate and serves for a term of four years. The commissioners’ powers and duties include cooperating with appropriate agencies in applying for and distributing Highway Safety program funds and receiving and distributing federal funding to further the objectives of Highway Safety.
Commissioner Keith Squires has two Deputy Commissioners to assist with Department of Public Safety operations. The Commissioner coordinates activities for the following Divisions and Bureaus:
• Administrative Services
• Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)
• Professional Standards (Internal Affairs)
• Fire Marshall’s Office (EMS)
• Public Safety Affairs
• Bureau of Investigation (SBI)
This office handles grant management, legal issues, human resources, information technology, facilities, and finance.
Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy
Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy (POST) provides training and certification for peace officers and conducts investigations of allegations of peace officer misconduct.
State Fire Marshal
This division enforces fire prevention and fire safety rules in public buildings, examines plans for school buildings, promotes fire education, and regulates use of liquefied petroleum gas and other combustible materials.
State Bureau of Investigation
The State Bureau of Investigation supports several multi-jurisdictional task forces throughout the state working to enforce laws and prevent crimes in the areas of the Internet, gangs, narcotics, alcohol, organized crime, and financial crimes.
Criminal Intelligence Center office collects and disseminates intelligence information. (SIAC)
Deputy Commissioner Nannette Rolfe coordinates the activities of the following Divisions and Bureaus:
• Quality & Process Improvement
• Emergency Management
• Crime Lab
• Bureau of Criminal Identification
• Driver License Division
• Legislative Liaison
Quality & Process Improvement
• The division provides support services for the department.
• Management Information Services provides technical support services for all law enforcement agencies in the state. The division has access to the National Crime Information Center and works with the FBI and the National Law Enforcement and Telecommunication Systems.
• Budget, Legal, and Personnel Management contains the functions of budgeting, accounting, legal support, and personnel management.
• Planning and Research provides these functions for the department.
This division is the lead agency
for emergency preparedness, disaster response, recovery and mitigation for the State of Utah. Emergency Management serves as the state’s administrative agency for homeland security and preparedness grants which supports local programs throughout the state.
This bureau is a full-service crime laboratory system assisting law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in analyzing evidence taken from crime scenes across Utah. The staff also provides extensive training to law enforcement officers and prosecutors from across the state in crime scene investigation, and evidence collection and preservation.
Bureau of Criminal Identification
The Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) manages the Utah Criminal Justice Information System which is a secure Internet database that provides prosecutors, courts, and law enforcement access to information on suspects, offenders, and prisoners. BCI also links Utah’s data into national databases. Other duties of the bureau include:
• Licensing bail bond providers and private investigators
• Conducting handgun purchase background checks as required by the federal Handgun Violence Protection Act
• Issuing concealed firearm permits
• Operating the Automated Fingerprint Identification System which provides fingerprint identification services to law enforcement and certain other agencies in Utah
• Compiling Utah’s crime statistics
• Expunging criminal records in accordance with state law
• Providing a Missing Person Clearinghouse that coordinates investigations of missing children, including use of the Amber Alert, providing a toll-free line regarding missing persons, and coordinating and providing assistance in efforts to locate missing persons.
Driver License Division
This division is responsible to license and regulate drivers in Utah. This is accomplished through the management and maintenance of a database which contains all driving histories including administrative actions, convictions and identity requirements.
Testing of applicants on traffic safety knowledge and skills is also a function of this division.
Superintendent Colonel Danny Fuhr coordinates the activities of the following Divisions and Bureaus:
• Communications Bureau
• Highway Safety Office
• Utah Highway Patrol
The Bureau manages six regional consolidated emergency communications centers. These regional dispatch centers provide emergency communications services and general information to law enforcement, fire and emergency medical responders, and the general public. Five of these centers are enhanced 911 public safety answering points for federal, state, and local government agencies.
Highway Safety Office
The Highway Safety Office is the collection point for federal highway safety funds coming into Utah. The office focuses on driver behavioral issues, and provides educational and informational campaigns, such as “Click It or Ticket” for seat belt use, and “You Drink and Drive. You Lose” for impaired driving prevention. The office also promotes safe driving and prevention of highway fatalities by funding extra shifts for law enforcement officers to focus on highway safety enforcement.