The long-time chief of the Eastern Washington University Police Department, Tim Walters, officially retired Sept. 1. Before stepping aside, he stood outside the Red Barn and administered the oath during a commissioning ceremony for his replacement—a familiar face who’s worked his way up from the field, in more ways than one.
Formerly with the Washington State Patrol, Walters came to Eastern more than 15 years ago to lead the force. He vividly remembers his first day in his new “office.”
“I remember my first day here at EWU and walking into a red barn as the police station,” says Walters. “It was a little weird but I have learned to the love the uniqueness of the Red Barn and its history.”
Walters takes pride in having watched “our little department” grow and evolve into a full-fledged, professional and well-respected police department. “I am very proud of all the men and women who have served here at EWUPD and have contributed to our success.”
He points out that it’s the effort of those who work so hard behind the scenes so students can have a positive experience. It’s the campus police officers, custodial and maintenance staff, trucking and parking employees, Walters says, “who make this university a gem of the Inland Northwest.”
One of those hard workers is the new chief, Jay Day. His first steps at Eastern were in the summer of 1991 on the football field. Day was a member of the 1992 Big Sky Champion football team—the first in EWU history. Although he graduated in 1995, Day didn’t start his EWUPD career until 2008.
Twelve years later, he will lead the department after taking the oath and having stars and the Chief’s badge pinned on his uniform on Monday, Aug. 31.
“I am honored to continue the work that Tim and Gary (former Deputy Chief Gary Gasseling) started, and am equally humbled that they believed in me enough to provide me the opportunities to grow in the areas needed to succeed them,” says Day. “I am excited and looking forward to leading our agency as this is home for me and my family.”
Day’s ties now run deep in Cheney. He and his wife Hope, an EWU alumna, have been married 27 years. His oldest daughter Janessa is also an Eastern graduate and was a member of the track team from 2013-17. The Days have an older son, Xavier, and their youngest daughter, Sofia, is a senior at Cheney High School.