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.