Pullman residents voice concerns about safety

Community members raise questions about safety following former Pullman student tragedy

CARMEN JARAMILLO, Evergreen reporter

Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins addressed concerns from community members about the death of Lauren McCluskey last night at the Police Advisory Committee meeting.

Lauren McCluskey was a 21-year-old Pullman native murdered in October while attending the University of Utah.

McCluskey expressed concerns for her safety in the days leading up to her death to both the University of Utah Police and the Salt Lake City police.

Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and a WSU professor, wrote in an editorial piece for The Salt Lake Tribune that when McCluskey spoke with the Salt Lake City police they referred her back to the university citing jurisdictional issues.

Richard Hume, a committee member representing the Pioneer Hill neighborhood, said he was concerned a similar situation could arise between the Pullman and WSU police, allowing a case to fall between the cracks.

“In the memory of this wonderful young lady,” Hume said, “we need to do everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen here.”

Police Chief Jenkins said the Pullman and WSU police routinely work together on joint investigations. He said he has seen law enforcement agencies can be hesitant to share information with each other but he said this environment does not exist in Pullman.

“From everything that I see, the way our protocols are set up and the way that we work together, I couldn’t imagine that happening here,” Jenkins said.

The next Pullman Police Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Pullman City Hall.