Oct 022003
 
Authors: Jesse McLain

Change is a top priority for the new head of the CSU Police

Department, Police Chief Dexter Yarbrough.

“The only time you call the police is when something bad

happens, that leaves only room for that negative interaction —

we’ve got to change that,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough, who has wanted to be a cop since boyhood, worked at

two universities prior to CSU and spent 13 years working for

Chicago Police Department.

“I wanted to be a police officer since I was 5 years old.”

Yarbrough said. “So I am actually living my childhood dream.”

Yarbrough majored in law enforcement administration at Western

Illinois University. There he decided that if he ever could make a

difference, he would like to work with students. Through his own

involvement in student activities, Yarbrough noticed the distance

between students and the police.

“I always wondered why the police weren’t more involved with the

students,” Yarbrough said. “Back then I said, ‘Once I get to the

police force and if I ever get to the point where I’ll be able to

have an influence that I would work in conjunction with

students.'”

Yarbrough is planning not only to increase positive interaction

between students and police, but also to tackle tough problems –

student drinking is at the top of the list.

“I think one of the things that needs to be recognized is that

there is a problem with students and alcohol. It’s immediately

apparent to me.” Yarbrough said. “A number of people have to sit

down and attack.”

Sophomore Llydsey Reese agreed that some changes need to be made

between students and CSUPD.

Reese, who is the head of Program Activities Counsel, attempts

to promote alcohol-free environments in which student can

participate.

“Most students think the cops’ only goal is to bust them for

drinking,” Reese said. “I think it would help if police didn’t only

interact with students in alcohol situations, if students could

have more positive interactions with police.”

Everyone seems in the mood for change with Yarbrough’s new

beginnings, from students to his staff.

“Folks are expecting an awful lot of Chief Yarbrough, I hope

they can be patient,” said Capt. Bob Chaffee of CSUPD. “I hope we

can focus on the fundamentals of good lawmaking.”

Yarbrough, who has been on the job a little over a month, is

surprised that he ended up here at all.

“Never did I ever imagine that I would ever end up in Colorado,”

Yarbrough said. “At first I was hesitant, but then I decided that

it was a good opportunity and low and behold here I am — still

amazed.”

 

 

 

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