Oct 252010
 
Authors: Rachel Childs

Chris Wolf spent his summer crawling under barbed wire, drudging through muddy water and running countless miles to be among the 1 percent of law enforcement agents to graduate from the FBI National Academy.

Lieutenant Wolf is one of three CSU Police Department members, including CSUPD Chief Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt and Lieutenant Scott Harris, to have gone through this rigorous training program in Quantico, Virg.

“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Wolf said.

Wolf stayed in a dormitory for 10 weeks with men and women from 49 states and 26 countries while he studied under the FBI’s best agents.

The thin, 50-year-old Colorado native was subjected to physical challenges every week on top of classes to further his skills in leadership and law enforcement.

His final physical challenge earned him a symbolic yellow brick inscribed with the words “Yellow Brick Road FBINA 242,” Wolf’s session number, which now sits on his desk.

Wolf grew up in Eaton and had dreams of driving tanks in the army, but did not pass because of his poor eyesight. Instead he became a military policeman.

“My dad was a police chief at the time, so law enforcement was kind of my second choice,” Wolf said.

Something he never planned to stick with became his life-long career.

He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in criminal justice and was a patrol officer in Eaton before climbing the ranks at CSU 23 years ago. He has dealt with almost every aspect of law enforcement and was the first supervisor of the Safe Walk Program, which offers CSU students a trained buddy to escort them on walks across campus at night.

He now runs the CSUPD support and special events unit within his office, tucked away in Green Hall, where Parking Services was once housed.

Campus suits Wolf better than small town crime patrol because he gets to form strong personal relationships with students and fellow CSUPD staff members, he said. He picked up the name Mr. CSU around the station, Rich-Goldschmidt said.

“I love the people I get to work with at CSU,” Wolf said.

Wolf was planning on retiring last summer after former CSUPD Chief Dexter Yarborough’s described “reign of terror.” The experience left him feeling trapped, and he began to dislike his work.

“It was kind of like walking on egg shells,” Wolf said.

Yarbrough resigned in spring 2009 after confronted with the findings of a nearly three-month-long investigation headed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. He faced allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment upon leave.

Rich-Goldschmidt, who Wolf has known for more than 15 years since attending UNC together, encouraged him to apply for the academy after she told him about her experience.

He was chosen over CSUPD Assistant Police Chief Frank Johnson for the nomination after Rich-Goldschmidt interviewed them both. Wolf said he owes a lot to both of them for the opportunity.

“I felt that Chris was the right person for it,” Rich-Goldschmidt said.

Wolf has taken the lessons he learned at the academy and is using them to better his work at CSU to enhance leadership and teach others.

Outside of the station, Wolf wears a different badge.

He is the advancement chair and an assistant scoutmaster for Fort Collins Boy Scout Troop 82, where he accompanies scouts on trips and has handed out an estimated 1,500 merit badges to countless young men.

The FBI National Academy Program requires that graduates work for at least three years after attending the program and Wolf plans to continue his 33-year law enforcement career for years to come.

“He is really involved and very much cares about CSU as a whole,” Rich-Goldschmidt said.

Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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