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BYU will keep police department after judge ruling

January 6, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Brigham Young University in Utah said it will keep its police department after an administrative law judge threw out a case in which state officials sought to take away the campus’ rights to police itself.

The decision Tuesday came two years after the state Department of Public Safety said it would decertify the BYU police department after the department did not conduct an adequate internal investigation into a lieutenant who inappropriately accessed police reports and gave sensitive information to the school’s Honor Code Office, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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The public safety department also said the BYU police department failed to respond to subpoenas from state regulators investigating the misconduct and did not comply with legal requests for public records.

The university then appealed the decision to an administrative law judge.

Administrative Law Judge Richard Catten said in his ruling Tuesday that the university did fulfill the law.

DPS Commissioner Jess Anderson said the ruling was disappointing in a statement Tuesday. Anderson said the decision to decertify BYU police was made after negotiations “failed to produce an agreement that I believed would result in increased transparency, agency accountability and the establishment of public trust.”

Anderson added that agency officials will examine the ruling over the next month to decide whether to appeal.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said in a statement that the judge “made the correct conclusion” in tossing the state agency’s action.

“BYU Police looks forward to working with the Department of Public Safety to follow best practices and continue to meet the certification requirements,” Jenkins said in the statement.