Controversial Police Chief Steps Down

July 17, 2019

Almost nine months after a murder on the University of Utah campus, its police chief is stepping down amid accusations his department disregarded repeated reports that could have saved the slain student.

Dale Brophy, chief of the Department of Public Safety, announced his retirement Tuesday. Brophy was heavily criticized after the student, Lauren McCluskey, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in October. McCluskey, 21, contacted the department multiple times reporting that she was being harassed and extorted. Officers listened to her statements but ultimately failed to realize she was in imminent danger.

McCluskey's parents and others on the campus have publicly called for Brophy's firing since the murder, in which McCluskey was shot several times and left in the back of a car.

Brophy's retirement is effective Oct. 15.

In an email to his staff, he said, "After 25 years in law enforcement, I have decided to retire and pursue other opportunities. I will serve my last day as the director of public safety here at the university on Oct. 15, 2019. This has not been an easy decision, but the timing is right. This move will open a new chapter for me and provide the department an opportunity to continue forward under new leadership."

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