WSU Police Department to Create Three Specialized Police Positions

PULLMAN Wash. — The Washington State University Police Department announced
today that it would have three new specialized positions in place for the start of the fall semester.
The positions will include an investigator, a traffic safety officer and a new community-policing
officer who will patrol a specific area of the campus on foot and by bicycle.
“Police Chief William Mercier says that the investigator position is being recreated after
having been abolished six years ago. “The department has been involved in a number of complex
and very sensitive investigations over the last six years that have taken uniformed officers away
from their normal patrol duties,” Mercier says. “The investigator position is intended not only to
free up uniform officers for more patrol time, but to enable one individual to develop the expertise
needed to conduct complex investigations.”
“Mercier says the traffic safety officer position has been created in response to numerous
public requests for stricter enforcement of motor vehicle and pedestrian laws on campus. He
adds that “even though all officers currently enforce traffic laws, the creation of one position
specifically charged with this responsibility should give more consistency to traffic enforcement
and improve the safety of campus roadways.”
“The chief says that this officer will receive specialized training in traffic accident
investigations. In addition, the officer will be responsible for developing public awareness and
education programs addressing traffic safety issues on campus.
“The final specialized position will be the establishment of a community policing officer to
patrol the area of the Stephenson Complex; Rodgers-Orton Halls; Gannon-Goldsworthy Halls;
and the Yakama, Chinook and Columbia Apartments on foot and by bicycle.
“Mercier says that this area was selected as a community policing post because of its high
concentration of residents, especially freshmen, who often require additional help in adjusting to
college life.
“”This position is intended to bring the officer in close daily contact with the residents of
the area,” says Mercier. “The officer will develop proactive programs to prevent crime and to be
more responsive to community needs.”
“Mercier says that these positions were created as a result of the successful funding of two
federally funded COPS grants and the funding of one position through the Office of Housing
and Dining Services. “I am looking forward to the higher level of service we will be able to
provide our community through these positions,” he says.