BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Police Department has created a chief diversity officer position to support and energize efforts to ensure diverse and inclusive recruitment, training, promotion and community engagement by the department. IUPD serves all IU campuses and is one of the largest certified law enforcement agencies in the state.
Wayne James, a Gary native and president of the Northwest Indiana chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, assumed the new position Sept. 4. He will provide leadership on diversity issues to all IUPD divisions while continuing his role as chief of police for IUPD-Northwest.
In his new role, James will also report to James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, and will serve as one of eight chief diversity officers at the university.
"The chief diversity officer position will bring great new emphasis and energy to a central part of IUPD's mission, and Wayne James is the right person for the job," said John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs. "I am also excited about our collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, because it will be critical to the long-term success of this position and to IUPD's goal of being a progressive, inclusive campus law enforcement agency."
"Having an experienced law-enforcement professional of Chief James' caliber in this new role is very significant," said Wimbush, who also serves as the dean of the University Graduate School and as the Johnson Professor for Diversity and Leadership. "His background will allow him to effectively communicate with the entire IU community and contribute a valuable perspective that helps our campuses continue to be safe, welcoming environments for all students, faculty and staff."
IU Superintendent of Public Safety Benjamin Hunter created this position -- one of the first within higher education law enforcement -- to ensure that IUPD is progressive in its approach and proactive with the communities its officers serve.
"Having a chief diversity officer for our organization underscores the importance of ensuring engagement at all levels and should be commonplace in large campus police agencies," he said.
James' responsibilities as IUPD chief diversity officer include:
- Working with the IUPD campus division leadership on strategic and positive approaches to diversity, inclusive of race, ethnicity, global engagement, class and diverse culture.
- Helping the director of public safety education and the IU Police Academy create programs and activities geared toward providing officers with the skills and resources needed to address social justice, prejudice and discrimination issues.
- Helping all IUPD divisions strengthen their efforts around diversity and inclusionary programming.
- Collaborating on the behalf of IUPD with campus organizations and offices to resolve issues affecting success for diverse and underrepresented populations, when needed.
"I am very excited and humbled about being appointed as the chief diversity officer for IUPD," James said. "I know that this role will bring challenges, transparency and openness to our organization and the communities we serve. I appreciate the confidence that the IU leadership and IUPD have in me to fill this very important role. I look forward to working with the IUPD command staff, officers and campus organizations."
James, who previously served as the IUPD-Kokomo chief of police, among other positions, is a certified Indiana law enforcement instructor specializing in gangs, building entries and instruction. He earned a bachelor's degree in public safety management from Calumet College of St. Joseph; completed the Police Chiefs Executive Training Program through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 2017; and graduated from the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety in 2014 and the Police Executive Leadership Academy for the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police in 2011.
James has received several awards and recognitions for excellence, including a Medal of Valor and a commendation award for a SWAT call in July 2012 and Officer of the Year.