BYU police decertified by state of Utah beginning Sept. 1

University says it plans to appeal the decision reached after a 3-year state review

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  • HouseWolf Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2019 9:11 a.m.

    Transparency and compliance with laws and regulations affecting all POST certified agencies is not a difficult task. Please, BYU, do not place the university in an "above the law" position. Stop the legal nonsense and just comply as requested by Utah Department of Public Safety. The decertification is presently warranted. Stop wasting university funds on legal maneuverings. The campus police must have an arms-length relationship with the university, as required at other campuses. This is not difficult.

  • SomeClarityPlease Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2019 4:21 p.m.

    It is nice to see the good ol boys network being taken to task.

  • rslutefan Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2019 2:02 p.m.

    This is just another good reason that ALL (public and private) colleges and universities shouldn't have their own police forces. They should simply be subject to the graphical jurisdiction of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement where they reside.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Feb. 28, 2019 12:21 a.m.

    It seems BYU police wants to have it's cake, and eat it too. They want to have the powers of arrest that only state certified officers have. Then claim to be a "private" institution that are exempt from the laws all other law enforcement agencies abide with.

  • northland55 Provo, UT
    Feb. 27, 2019 8:30 a.m.

    Be my guest in demanding that BYU police abide by state standards to obtain state certification. But you can't demand state standards to be certified by the state without being FUNDED by the state. So, if Utah, via taxpayers, is ready and willing to foot that bill, then sure go ahead, the request is perfectly legitimate.

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:16 p.m.

    I have heard Romany stories that the byu police have to many issues.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 8:37 p.m.

    Oh brother, haters on both sides out in full force on this one.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 7:40 p.m.

    BYU believes that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

    I believe BYU is not a government organization but has a security responsibility toward the community, students and the University administration.

    If they perform arrests and are called BYU Police they are performing governmental and constitutional functions.

    Six-months for officers with POST training and Certification is sufficient since this case has been sufficient for the University to respond to POST and the DPS.

  • intrinsicrewards Salem, VA
    Feb. 26, 2019 4:45 p.m.

    If BYU is going to stay legit they need to comply with the state requirements. Otherwise, they are a secretive rogue force without oversight, and they should no longer be recognized as a legit police department, have access to state databases or have the authority to arrest anyone. A bigger question to me is why is BYU fighting this?

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 4:21 p.m.

    I thought it was the U of U police that screwed up so bad with the Lauren McCluskey episode. But I don’t think any university needs police, when the city police would have more resources. Just take the number of police on campus and add that many to the local PD.

  • bluesman503 Riverton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 4:15 p.m.

    The issue with any school having its own police forces is where their loyalties lie. If the school is funding the force, it is in charge. Their interest is likely to be in protecting the schools reputation from scandal. Justice for any victim will be secondary if even a consideration at all.

    Schools that want a police force should have to subsidize the local police department for putting a substation on campus and officers should be rotated thru that station to prevent undue influence arising from too much familiarity. The local police forces detective division per their normal assignment process should do investigations into complaints of serious crimes.

    Law enforcement and the pursuit of justice are the proper purview of the government and not private entities with private agendas…

  • lnkmom Lehi, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 3:46 p.m.

    I completely agree with "junkgeek"... university "police " should be for parking infractions and security for events (games, plays, etc). Local police departments should still have jurisdiction over real crime that occurs on or around campus. The claim that they can't get to campus fast enough is ridiculous. That's their job, to get to places quickly and efficiently.

    In many other articles recently about crimes perpetrated on Students at our local universities, I have stated that I would never have gone to university police for any of these incidents. If the local city police don't take you seriously you have real problems. If your campus police ignore you... well, we all know what can happen then.

    They are, and should remain, glorified parking attendants.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 26, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    I guess the state decided that independence isn't working for the BYU-P PD...

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 3:33 p.m.

    I personally think no university should have their own police department. At the U it should be the SL Police department and the U should pay for it. At BYU it should be the Provo Police Department and BYU should pay for it. You know like they pay for it now. Roll both departments into the city.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 3:26 p.m.

    I guess Senator Bramble can explain to his constituents why their property and local taxes is being raised to increase the Provo PD to patrol and cover BYU campus.

    If BYU didn't comply with open records and is misusing databases there should be punitive measures, but I think de-certification should be a last resort when taking students' safety into account. I guess the DPS feels Sept 1st is long enough to increase the duties and boots on the ground for Provo PD? Otherwise these actions could have some very negative consequences...I'm going to venture that DPS doesn't really care about that, or they are seriously lacking in foresight.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 3:11 p.m.

    Law enforcement is the duty and responsibility of the state. It is not a duty or responsibility of the church.

  • Shimano Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 2:17 p.m.

    The issue in question was an byu officer using a national police database to investigate honor code violations which is not the intended purpose of the database. The solution is simple honor code enforcement should be a separate entity to their police force. That way they have cops and at the same time continue their lack of transparency as a private entity

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    Feb. 26, 2019 2:18 p.m.

    Apparently, some commenters who are stating that BYU should just comply and behave like other PDs, and asking why are they even appealing this did not read the article completely. BYU responded saying that they DID comply and that they are confounded as to why the commissioner is taking this position. BYU stated that they believe that they "met all applicable criteria and is surprised that the commissioner is issuing a letter on these technical grounds." That's why they are appealing. And they feel they did comply. And why is Sen. Bramble introducing this legislature? Has this been an on going problem? If not and this is an isolated case (which seems to be a very isolated case), it seems to me that Bramble is jumping on a made up band wagon to score political points instead of really serving the public good.

    Feb. 26, 2019 1:39 p.m.

    The response and headline should read; BYU police and administration plan to take every step necessary to follow compliance protocol to receive certification.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 1:39 p.m.

    @2 bits - Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:24 a.m.
    @Impartial7 - DRAPER, UT
    So what's wrong with BYU PD retaining their certification if they "turn over some documents and promise to "play fair". Say they will comply, fully, and maintain their certification"?
    If they do these things I would think they SHOULD maintain their certification. Don't you?"

    Yeah. That's what I said. If they want certification, then they need to abide by the laws and play within the rules that every other Utah PD is required to do. If they do, then they should be accredited. If they refuse, ignore subpoenas, and flaunt GRAMA laws, they should lose certification and be disbanded. They should be on par with a security guard service.

  • Let's Agree to Disagree Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 1:29 p.m.

    @ 2 Bits

    I do hope that BYU PD keeps its following the law and being accountable to the community.

    Does the Tribune hope to embarrass BYU? Undoubtedly, but this is all the more reason for BYU PD to operate by the book and welcome the same oversight placed on other police departments.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2019 1:23 p.m.

    @Sun Devil at Heart - Lindon, UT

    So if they are so great why didn't they comply?

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    BYU doesn’t need to be de-certified, they obeyed the law as outlined in GRAMA. Lawmakers need to realize this and change
    GRAMA. It protests more than just BYU.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:48 p.m.

    Because of BYU's relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, being required to be fully transparent with all requests for information would create an excessive burden. Critics of the church would overwhelm the university with requests, only seeking to defame and harm the institution.

    You never know how the information will be used and twisted.

    I am involved with two religious discussion groups on the web and the critics are salivating over the opportunity that this issue would provide. They are anything but fair minded or even handed.

    I have seen them say that "BYU has the highest dropout rate due to pregnancy in the nation." This obviously conveys the image that BYU students are immoral. They never mention that the students are married, and most return to school after a few months.

    This is how twisted and dishonest this is.

    To require BYU to help these people twist facts and distort reality is unconscionable.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:44 p.m.

    Notre Dame just went through this same issue after being sued by ESPN.

    The court ruled that Notre Dame Security Police department is not a "public agency" under Indiana law and does not have to provide information about investigations the sports media company requested in 2014.

    I am pleasantly surprised that BYU couldn't get a similar ruling or work out that same deal in Utah.

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    If BYU's "police force" is "privately funded, managed and operated police department within a private university" why should they care if they are certified by the state?

    Certification is just some label from the state. It should be meaningless to them. Why does BYU even care?

  • Semi-PRO Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    "We are a nation of laws"

    Is what the Republicans keep telling me when discussing illegal immigration. I guess that applies here as well.

  • Illya Waterloo, Iowa
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:25 p.m.

    There is actually a larger issue here. Whether BYU security did or did not do something is relatively unimportant except as a harbinger of the direction of current events.

    Governments at all levels are becoming more intrusive and demanding more power over all aspects of civil life. In a free society, there are numerous areas in which a government does not intrude. For example, the federal government had no right to know how much a person made or how that person spent it until the government needed more money that only an income tax could raise. Governments traditionally did not intervene within a family, even to the point of refusing to dictate who could marry whom, until the government decided that it needed to control religion, and later needing methods of distributing transfer payments.

    Current governments appear to want to control all aspects of both private and public life. Free assembly is only free as long as the assembly does not do anything the powerful dislike.

    Since a government can pass laws, making the argument that people are free to do as they please unless they violate a law is circular reasoning.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:16 p.m.

    Here's something to keep in mind - the BYU PD is in hot water for it's lack of transparency - not because a student died because of it's ineptitude.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:07 p.m.

    @Let's Agree to Disagree
    RE: "I am surprised and disappointed that BYU is fighting this"...
    And Why are they fighting to retain their certification?

    So they can protect their students, instead of the City PD (which doesn't have time to be on campus all the time).

    Is that something to be ashamed of? Wanting to protect your students?

    I'm frankly disappointed in the State. Because doing this makes students less safe, but they don't care. All they care about is paper work and compliance.

    I get it. I just don't know if you intentionally make students LESS safe, just because you can, or you got your nose out of joint because they didn't turn all the paper work you requested over to the media to publish. Even if it exposed innocent student's private lives to be printed in the media.

    What BYU did didn't endanger anybody, it just wasn't compliant. What the State is doing will endanger students. It will make it take longer for police to respond to incidents on Campus (like the one we recently had on the UofU campus).

    With the BYU PD no longer certified... students will have to wait for a city PD unit to respond if they are being assaulted. Like what happened at the U.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:00 p.m.

    I'm sure this has nothing to do with how the Tribune picks on BYU and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's not as if there is a history of antagonism towards I don't know, everything BYU and the church has ever done by some people in Salt Lake that would make BYU hesitate to hand over records.

  • Matlas Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 12:02 p.m.

    BYU has a target on its back, all of the time. For that reason open records would be, unfairly, more scrutinized than any other PD in the state.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:50 a.m.

    BYU needs new leadership from the President through the Athletic Director. I love BYU, but they seem to think that rules that apply to everybody else don't apply to them.

  • TexInUT Midvale, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:48 a.m.

    For me, this is really simple: if you want to have a campus police force that has all the powers of a regular police force, then you open your records. If you want your campus police force to have the ability to access law enforcement databases, you open your records.

    In short, if you are a private police force with all of the powers of a public police force and you are certified by the state, you need to abide by the same rules.

    Abide or's not that hard to understand, folks.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:45 a.m.

    In my opinion, universities shouldn't have private police departments; the local PD (Provo in this case) should handle things.

    (Disclaimer - BYU alum with a child at BYU and another attending USU.)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:27 a.m.

    Is not responding when a student and her parents call to report a dangerous felon and sex-offender stocking their daughter on campus considered "In compliance"?

    I guess so... the UofU PD still has their certification.

  • Let's Agree to Disagree Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:25 a.m.

    I support BYU and I support law enforcement when it is transparent and accountable to the public it is intended to serve.

    I am surprised and disappointed that BYU is fighting this.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:24 a.m.

    @Impartial7 - DRAPER, UT
    So what's wrong with BYU PD retaining their certification if they "turn over some documents and promise to "play fair". Say they will comply, fully, and maintain their certification"?

    If they do these things I would think they SHOULD maintain their certification. Don't you?

    I would hope there is a way to maintain your certification, if you comply with what the State is demanding. Which are the things you listed.

    Should they be de-certified just because they are BYU? Or because you don't like them? No. They should be de-certified if they are not in compliance. But if they get back in compliance (do the things you listed) then why would they NOT maintain certification? Just out of hate for BYU?

    I think if they do the things you listed and get back in compliance... they should maintain certification.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:19 a.m.

    A letter of intent as a notice is quite appropriate.
    It is, however lacking the link to the pending court decisions--- unless the courts are done by the stated date.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:17 a.m.

    RE: "james d. morrison - Sandy, UT
    Probably for the best. Just have Provo police cover the campus and have campus security act as security guards"...
    So who responds if there is an active shooter on campus? Provo PD? Or the security guards?

    Know how long it would take Provo PD to get there?


    "Which raises the question then, is the UofU PD next?
    No, because UofU is a public institution"...
    Doesn't matter if the UofU is a public institution. Their PD has the same requirements as BYU.

    The problem here is open records violations. UofU PD has had it's share of problems too. They were just more open about it.

    BYU PD does need to be more open about cases they are investigating. They need to stop worrying about if exposing the details of investigations they are doing will hurt an innocent student involved in the investigation, or an officer involved in the investigation. They need to stop protecting people, even if they think they are innocent. The press wants the gory details of student's sex lives... just give it to them. It's the law, I guess.

  • JimDabakis Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 11:08 a.m.

    Does not every single Utahn (outside of Utah County) agree that BYU state-certified police officers may not use the countywide database of police records to collect information for school Honor Code investigations?
    By the way, hats off to Provo Senator Curt Bramble who is leading the way in reigning in the BYU Police on this matter (there go his BYU basketball tickets).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:40 a.m.

    The university declined to release the emails, arguing it is a "privately funded, managed and operated police department within a private university."
    BYU will likely comply with the requirements and should. These are standard and not unreasonable for the state of Utah in its oversight responsibilities.

  • RebelScum Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    Great decision by DPS. Either BYUPD is a state certified police agency that is required to abide by ALL of the same laws that other state certified police agencies are, or they cannot be a certified agency. It's pretty simple, and very black and white. Their cannot be a special exemption carved out for a private school. Any private school. If there is, then that school might ask for other exemptions from the law.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    This is all theater, people. Some well placed calls from church officials will be made. Then, we'll hear how we need to "step back and calm down" and "reevaluate the situation" BYU PD will turn over some documents and promise to "play fair". They'll say they will comply, fully, maintain their certification, and go about business as usual. It's Utah after all.

  • Ron Swanson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    Let's face it, if the appeal fails then they'll open up. BYU PD isn't shuttering.

  • furymouse Draper, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    Maybe the byu police should just comply with the law then?

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:24 a.m.

    @brave - so it's better to mess up and cost someone's life than it is to be closed yet not have those problems. Your logic is very flawed if the former results in a hand slap while the latter is grounds for complete shutdown.

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:22 a.m.

    Probably for the best. Just have Provo police cover the campus and have campus security act as security guards.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    This closed approach is surely in keeping with the way this religious organization conducts itself. It is about time that a little sunshine was spread on byu's campus -sunshine being a good disinfectant. If they will not comply with openness requirements of police departments, then they certainly should be decertified.

  • walkingman24 Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    "Which raises the question then, is the UofU PD next?"

    No, because UofU is a public institution and was already following all applicable open records laws. BYU wasn't.

  • walkingman24 Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    @Sun Devil at Heart

    No one is saying that BYUPD is a bad police force or that they aren't professional. But they are required to follow open records laws that other governmental-based police departments follow. Are you against transparency and equal rules?

  • Sun Devil at Heart Lindon, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:48 a.m.

    Having recently retired from BYU after 44 years, I find this to be punitive and senseless. During those 44 years, I had numerous interactions with them including serving for fifteen years on a university committee that worked closely with the BYU Police. In all instances, I found them to be extremely professional, far above the standards expected. It obvious that the commission is trying to take extraordinary measures based on conjecture and personal bias. If they were to do a thorough investigation they would be left with absolutely no basis to take such an arbitrary action. Perhaps the commissioner and Utah Department of Public Safety needs to looked into more closely as to their efficiency, objectivity, and effectiveness.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:52 a.m.

    @jonny triumph

    "Which raises the question then, is the UofU PD next?"

    No, because UUPD - in spite of their well-documented problems - is being open and transparent about their issues. BYU-P PD is basically a secret good ol' boys club.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:52 a.m.

    About all they do is write parking tickets anyway. Sure is funny how they ticket on Sunday's as well.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    Given the de-certification, if students expect to be protected on campus they should obtain their provisional concealed firearms permits enacted by the Utah Legislature for 18 year old students, correct? Hopefully BYU security realizes by now that maintaining a "weapon free" campus is a grossly negligent and horribly dangerous policy.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2019 9:40 a.m.

    This is very interesting and, at least from this side of the desk, seems like a punitive effort against the BYU PD. Which raises the question then, is the UofU PD next? I guess it'd depend if BYU's lack of investigation into one issue is greater than the U's internal problems lately...