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Fighting crime in the cornfields

Campus Police explain why they love their jobs

Campus Police Chief, Officer Jeff Wallace, is there for the students from Youtube videos to shuttling injured students around campus.

Campus Police Chief, Officer Jeff Wallace, is there for the students from Youtube videos to shuttling injured students around campus.

By Brianna Kudisch | Echo

You may find Campus Police officers shuttling shivering students around campus in the dead of winter, letting students into buildings or offering a friendly wave. No matter the task, it’s done with a smile.

One thing Campus Police Chief Jeff Wallace wishes students knew about Campus Police is that law enforcement is not only their job but also their ministry. Wallace is a 15-year veteran of Taylor University’s Campus Police force.

“We have a heart to serve the Lord which we hope comes out in serving our campus community in the way we interact and the way we have intentional relationships with others,” Wallace said.

Wallace has shown that intentional interaction through his willingness to lead several Spring Break mission trips to the Dominican Republic.

Campus Police provides a safe environment on campus and in surrounding Upland through proactive patrolling. They also monitor the activity of buildings on campus and maintain effective parking by controlling traffic flow.

During winters when temperatures are dangerously low, Campus Police offer rides to students.

“During j-term when it was extremely cold out, they gave me and my friends a ride to the place we were going,” junior Lauren Nyczak said.

The officers point to students as the best aspect of their job.

“I love the interaction with students,” Wallace said. “I love the challenge from students, intellectually.”

Tim Enyeart, Deputy Chief of Police, agrees with Wallace.

Enyeart emphasizes the point by letting students know they can depend on him, whether it’s a ride to the Health Center or helping start their car.

“I tell the students, ‘Hey I’m working for you,’” Enyeart said.

Well-versed in a variety of skills, they even wear the teacher hat, according to sophomore Jeanine Aupperle.

“Jeff Wallace taught a class to my wing on self defense. It was so much fun and I learned a lot. Jeff Wallace is the man,” Aupperle said.

Throughout the years, Campus Police has increased its training and resources. While the department was initially an unarmed security department, it is now an armed police force. Wallace worked as a campus officer at Taylor for two years before leaving to work in Michigan.

After working in Detroit as a police officer for 13 years, he felt God calling him to return to Upland. Wallace is a Taylor graduate and grew up in the area, so Upland has always felt like home. It was the right move both personally and professionally.

“I don’t think I decided to work for Campus Police. I think God decided to have me work for Campus Police,” Wallace said.

Taylor’s Campus Police are different from the typical campus police department, not only in their professionalism, but also in how they view students. The officers aim to have a healthy relationship with students, creating an open space for unity in the body of Christ.

Wallace pointed out that on most university campuses, there’s a divide between students and police officers which creates friction. However, Taylor’s campus is unique in that students work together with officers with an emphasis on intentional relationships.

The officers show their less serious side, too, when given the chance.

“I’ve been in several Youtube (videos). People come up to you (and say) ‘Hey I need you to pull me over’ or ‘I want to get a video of running from the police,’” Enyeart said. “I had one guy come up to me and ask me if I had any pot. And then he pulled out a regular kitchen pot and pan (and said) ‘Like this one!’”

Like any other job, working at Campus Police is not perfect. When asked if he could change one thing about his job, Wallace immediately said, “Less meetings.”

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