State Audit Shows 7 Utah Schools Had Crime Reporting Deficiencies

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The State of Utah has released the University Police Audit showing shortcomings in reporting crimes at seven Utah schools, including the University of Utah.

The Clery Act requires universities to assess potential threats and issue warnings to staff and students. It also requires universities to track and report certain crime statistics.

The audit revealed several incidents at the University of Utah.

In one incident, a student reportedly said he was held at gunpoint by a roommate. According to the report, this information was not passed on to U of U police for nearly 24 hours.

In another case, police learned of a potential hate crime through a social media post, more than three and a half months after it was reported to housing staff in the city. ‘U of U. The auditors suggested two U-specific recommendations, including streamlining reporting pathways and evaluating training for security personnel.

U of U security chief Keith Squires said he welcomed the review.

“As the University of Utah continues to invest in safety improvements and innovations, this analysis is a timely reminder of the importance of regularly reviewing and improving our campus safety operations. “said Squires.

Unsafe U, an organization that raises awareness of safety issues at the U, released the following statement:

“While many concerns are raised in this legislative audit, we are particularly concerned about two themes: the demonstrated lack of monitoring of security accountability data in USHE institutions and the failure to correct the fundamental problems identified in the Lauren McCluskey investigation.

It is encouraging that the USHE agrees with these recommendations. It is unclear what concrete, concrete steps the USHE will take to bring institutions into compliance (particularly with respect to data reporting). We hope that the USHE Council on Higher Education will follow these recommendations and that there will be an ongoing conversation with clear timelines and deliverables throughout the coming year.

We fear that this report gives a lot of deference to the institutions to solve their own problems. As this report points out, institutions have shown that they can’t really be trusted to govern themselves when it comes to campus safety. The state and USHE really need to take a more active role in driving conversations and pushing institutions to move beyond the status quo in their security structures. Conditions of institutional mismanagement combined with a culture of gender-based violence in Utah are the perfect storm for another tragedy.

We would also like to address the fact that there is an assumption in the narrative of this report that students do not trust the police on campus. This is largely true, and the report’s implicit recommendation to improve outreach and communication is misguided and downright dangerous. Students should absolutely not trust institutions or police agencies on their campuses unless those institutions can produce data and show concrete, evidence-based changes in policies and procedures. This is not a “public relations problem” or a communication problem – it reflects substantial breakdowns in accountability, transparency and resources on campuses to address safety issues. »

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