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Bill Yeagley

CMU police chief announces retirement

Yeagley to hang up his badge after 4 decades in law enforcement

Contact: Heather Smith

mug-2011-289-003.jpgAfter 41 years in law enforcement, Central Michigan University Chief of Police Bill Yeagley will retire his badge this summer.

The safety of CMU’s campus community has been Yeagley’s No. 1 priority since he took over as chief in 2009.

“During his time at Central, Chief Yeagley has been an outstanding leader — within his team and across campus — and accomplished great things,” said Barrie Wilkes, associate vice president for finance and administrative services. “He has been an active, influential member of our campus community and takes the safety of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding area seriously. He lives safety, leadership and communication every day.”

Wilkes noted several university and department accomplishments since Yeagley joined CMU as police chief, including:

  • Development of a community policing program in the residence halls and across campus, with a focus on safety education.
  • Implementation of a multiyear plan, working closely with other campus departments, to install access controls in residence halls and emergency locks in classrooms.
  • Improved security measures for home football games and commencement.
  • Expansion of partnerships in the surrounding community, with an emphasis on local law enforcement collaboration, to address mutual needs and share resources.
  • Completion of several serious and complex criminal investigations.
  • Leadership and handling of crises and the related, ongoing preparation and training of individuals across campus in emergency management.
  • Installation of a MILO Range 180 Theater system — a simulator that uses video and audio to engage officers with interactive real-life scenarios, such as traffic stops, burglaries, domestic disturbances and active assailants. The system is used by several local law enforcement agencies, enabling cross-agency training.

“It has been a privilege to serve this outstanding institution for the past 10 years,” Yeagley said. “Being a university police chief means holding the safety of every student, faculty and staff member, and visitor in your hands. Every member of this department understands we are members of a tight-knit community and feels tremendous responsibility to protect and contribute to CMU’s safety and culture.”

Before joining CMU, Yeagley served the city of Mount Pleasant police department for 30 years, working his way through the ranks from a police officer to the director of public safety — the city’s title for police chief. He also served as deputy sheriff for the Clare County Sheriff Department for one year.

Before beginning his law enforcement career, Yeagley attended and played football for CMU, including during Central’s 1974 Division II National Championship victory. He went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University and also is a graduate of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Session.

Wilkes said understanding the uniqueness of policing on a university campus will be critical for Yeagley’s successor.

“Challenges in a higher education environment are different than typical law enforcement,” he said. “To be effective, you need to be able to build relationships with administrators, students, faculty and staff across campus. You also need to be able to communicate effectively — earlier and more often than you would in other environments.”

Jonathan Webb, associate vice president for facilities management, will lead the search for CMU’s next police chief. The position will be posted Feb. 10.

The other search committee members are:

  • Adam Epstein, faculty, finance and law.
  • Shaun Holtgrieve, executive director, student affairs.
  • Sherry Knight, associate vice president, University Communications.
  • Mary Martinez, deputy director, Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity.
  • A.T. Miller, vice president and chief diversity officer.
  • Mike Morrow, sergeant, CMU Police Department.
  • Stan Shingles, associate vice president, University Recreation.
  • Jason VanConant, officer, CMU Police Department, and president, Police Officers Association of Michigan.

Yeagley will retire effective July 31.

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