After 18 years as the private university’s top cop, BYU’s police chief retires

(screenshot of the BYU Police website) BYU Police Chief Larry Stott retired several weeks ago," though on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, he still appears prominently on its website.

After nearly 20 years as Brigham Young University’s top cop, Chief Larry Stott has retired. And he did so very quietly.

Lt. Steven Messick confirmed Monday afternoon that Stott retired “several weeks ago.”

BYU made no public announcement about Stott’s retirement, and BYU Police’s webpage still lists him as the university’s police chief. A photo of Stott, along with a quote about “providing a safe and peaceful environment” are featured prominently on the front page.

When questioned further about Stott’s retirement, Messick responded in an email: “In July, after 47 years in law enforcement Chief Larry Stott announced to the university that he was retiring. Brigham Young University does not announce the retirement of employees. Chris Autry has been appointed as the interim chief.”

Stott took over as police chief in 2000, according to media reports, after the previous chief left due to health issues. Before taking over the private university’s police force, Stott had worked as assistant chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Provo Police Chief Rich Ferguson said Monday that Stott was a “leader in our community” and a great partner to his agency.

“We will miss him,” Ferguson said.

Stott’s department has been under state scrutiny for the past two years regarding how it accesses and shares police records — and whether officers have shared information with the private university’s Honor Code Office. Campus police repeatedly have stressed that they are separate from that office and do not report student conduct violations to the school. However, The Salt Lake Tribune has obtained internal BYU documents that show a BYU police lieutenant used his access to Provo police records, via a countywide law enforcement database, for an Honor Code investigation into the conduct of a student who had reported a sexual assault to Provo police.

The Utah Department of Public Safety spent a year investigating how BYU officers access and share their own reports and the records of other Utah County police agencies. While the investigation was completed in July 2017, the Utah attorney general’s office has been reviewing the case ever since — and the findings have not yet been made public.