In Lauren McCluskey’s case, police computer systems worked the way they were supposed to. Reviewers say that’s the problem.

(Courtesy University of Utah) Lauren McCluskey is seen on Aug. 30, 2017, in Salt Lake City.

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey was worried. She’d been scared by the man she broke up with days earlier, and she had just made a $1,000 payment after receiving a threat that compromising photos of them together would be posted online. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

She contacted campus police on Oct. 13, for the second day in row, and the department ran its first background check on Melvin Rowland. But officers did not learn that Rowland was on parole until after he had killed McCluskey on campus on Oct. 22 and died by suicide hours later.

Independent reviewers blamed poor training and the department’s lack of direction to its officers about researching a suspect’s parole status. But they and a separate Utah Department of Public Safety team also examined three databases intended to help police and parole agents connect as they encounter and track offenders.

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