CWUPD continues restructuring

Jeff+St.+John+is+one+of+two+officers+being+promoted.

Xander Fu

Jeff St. John is one of two officers being promoted.

Miles King, News Editor

Xander Fu
Jeff St. John is one of two officers being promoted.

Starting May 1, two CWU Police Department employees will begin new positions.

Xander Fu
“We’re here to stay.” Andy Bayne described his experience working in the area and with college students.

Corporal AndyBayne and Officer Jeff St. John will both become sergeants.

Bayne, a CWU graduate with a law and justice degree and played baseball for the university, has been with the department since 2006. Baynes has been in his position as corporal for six and half years and previously worked at Kittitas County Corrections.

St. John started at the department on Sept. 11, 2001 and has split time at CWU and the Army Reserve. He has served a few tours and spent a nearly five months in the Middle East in 2004. St. John just returned from a deployment with the Navy Reserve, who he currently is listed with.

The promotions are part of a department-wide restructuring. Lieutenant McPherson, Assistant Chief Eric Twaites and Chief Jason Berthon-Koch started their positions recently, according to McPherson. Other than adding another officer later who is currently in training, the promotions of Bayne and St. John will be the final step in restructuring the department.

“I think this structure is going to be functional going forward,” McPherson said. “The workload is appropriately and evenly distributed [for everybody].”

Under the previous department structure, all officers would report to the assistant chief, according to McPherson. Under the new structure, Bayne and St. John will supervise squads of four or five, one squad will work weekdays and the other weekends. This will allow for Twaites to handle more administrative tasks in the department.

“He can focus on more of the running of the organization, all the different needs, requests and projects,” McPherson said.

McPherson believes the experience of both St. John and Bayne has prepared them for their new roles. St. John has extensive leadership experience in the Army and Navy Reserves and Bayne has the knowledge of procedures and law, according to McPherson.

“We all kind of been through our paces here,” Bayne said. “Being a corporal for six years allowed me to get a lot of the reports, a lot of the query… understanding that part.”

Both Bayne and St. John are confident that the new structure can carry out the mission of the department. According to McPherson, the mission will not change and the new structure will be more than ideal going forward.

“I think our message will remain consistent,” St. John said. “We won’t shirk our duties just because we have a different role.“

According the McPherson and Bayne, the department’s involvement in the campus community is important for them, and a rarity in the law enforcement sector.

“We want you to know that we’re not robots driving around in a car,” McPherson said. “We’re invested in the community, we want this community to grow and flourish.”

According to McPherson, taking time on-duty to hangout with students would be frowned upon at any other city or county law enforcement agency. The chief encourages the force to engage with the community in a positive way.

“We want people to see that we are people too,” Bayne said. “We actually have families that are involved in the community.”

Going into his new position, Bayne believes his transition will be smooth due to the familiarity with the department. His biggest challenge will be keeping a level head.

“I get really excited about stuff, then I get bummed out about stuff,” Bayne said. “Its me just finding that happy medium.”

For St. John, his biggest challenges though will be the return to normal life as an officer after a recent assignment stateside for the Navy. According to St. John, military communication is very direct and returning to normal life, he must soften his approach, which can be difficult.

“You know where you stand with me… I’ve always been that way,” St. John said. “Sometimes it’s been beneficial; sometimes not so much.”