UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

University of Utah Police training to build trust with students

Nov 2, 2022, 3:00 PM
university of utah department of public safety, which oversees university police is pictured...
The Department of Public Safety building at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City is pictured on Friday, April 16, 2021. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– University of Utah Police are undergoing training to help build trust with the students on campus. The department has made numerous changes since the scrutiny that came with Lauren McCluskey’s murder in 2018.

University of Utah Interim Police Chief Jason Hinojosa said some of those changes included improving audits, processes and accountability, as well as their background investigation process for prospective hires. Body cameras also became a requirement as of August 2021.

Campus police are also training to avoid using certain phrases when interacting with students. Phrases the force are learning to avoid include:

  • “Why did you wait so long to report this?”
  • “What do you want me to do?”
  • “There’s nothing we can do about it.”

“It’s really about communicating better, being a better listener,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa said the force wants to build trust and never make anyone regret asking for their help.

The university said 94% of the police personnel have been hired since January 2019.

Hinojosa said the police force still seeks student input. “We want the information so we can work to make the campus safer.” 

Related: Lauren McCluskey solved her own stalking case. Here’s how

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