University of Utah to review campus safety, police response following student’s murder

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) Following the murder of a student on campus, the University of Utah has begun an extensive review of campus safety and police department protocol. 

Lauren McCluskey, 21, an athlete on Utah’s track and field team, was shot and killed by an ex-boyfriend as she was leaving an evening class Monday night. 

University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, Police Chief Dale Brophy, Deputy Chief Rick McLenon, and Athletic Director Mark Harlan held a news conference Thursday afternoon to update the community on the investigation and what has happened since McCluskey’s death. 

President Watkins said the university initiated two separate reviews following McCluskey’s murder: a review of campus safety and another review “specifically focused on the actions the department took in response to Lauren’s original complaint.”

In the first case, the U’s Campus Safety Task Force will continue its work and look at every aspect of campus safety with the addition of help from an outside independent expert. 

“While great progress was made in the past two years, I strongly believe that this tragic event requires us to revisit every aspect of campus safety and to do so with the help and guidance of an independent expert,” said Watkins.

Regarding the second review, Watkins said she has “great faith” that the department worked diligently on the incident, but the university will “leave no stone unturned” in determining if there was anything that could have been done to prevent the tragedy. 

“We are determined as a university to learn from this tragedy and to ensure that what we can do better at the University of Utah happens. We’re committed to doing everything we can to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again on our campus,” said Watkins. 

Watch video of the news conference below. 

The University of Utah’s Center for Student Wellness Victim-Survivor Advocates provide services, resources, and support (including safety planning) to members of the campus community who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence or other forms of interpersonal violence. The U’s Victim-Survivor advocates can be reached at 801-581-7779.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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