KOKOMO, Ind. — Wayne James takes his oath of office as Indiana University Kokomo's chief of police, in a ceremony Friday, November 22.
James, 33, said the ceremony, in Kresge Auditorium, was a special occasion for him, because so many people who are important in his life and career attended.
"To be sworn in in front of so many people who have supported me throughout my career makes it even more special," he said. "I always wanted to be a police officer, and to be a chief is an added bonus."
Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated James, and said the campus benefits from his leadership.
"What has impressed me most about Wayne is his proactive approach to campus safety," she said. "He has met with faculty, staff, and students to make sure they see the campus police as resources. I am confident he will continue to guide us as we continue to grow, and meet the challenges that come with growth."
James was especially proud to have his long-time mentor, Lieutenant Jerry Williams, pin on his badge during the ceremony. Williams is district commander for the Indiana State Police Lowell Post.
Williams met the new chief nearly 20 years ago, when James worked at an Ace Hardware Store in Lake County, Indiana. Williams visited the store several times each week, and encouraged him to pursue a law enforcement career.
"This is a proud time, to see this young man sworn in," Williams said. "He has never missed an opportunity to learn and advance himself. He has worked in one of the most challenging environments in Indiana, and he will bring that experience to IU Kokomo. This campus has the right man for the job."
James began his job October 1. Prior to that, he was operations lieutenant for the IU Police Department Northwest, in Gary. He began as a patrol officer there in 2009. He received a medal of valor in 2011, for actions during an off-campus incident that helped save a man's life and secure a suspected shooter.
As police chief at IU Kokomo, he will provide leadership, direction, and oversight for all campus law enforcement functions.
Law enforcement officials from around the state attended Friday's ceremony. Those attending include Chief Laury Flint, IU Bloomington Police Department; Deputy Chief Bob True, IUPUI Police Department; Chief Patricia Nowak, IU Northwest Police Department; Chief Rob Baker and Major Brian Seldon, Kokomo Police Department; Sheriff Steven Rogers and Lieutenant Kurt Goerges, Howard County Sheriff Department; Kokomo-Howard County Consolidated Communications Director Nicholas Capozzoli, Deputy Chief Cliff Sessoms, Marion Police Department; Corporal Nina Evans, Gary Police Department; Officer Morris Smooth, Cedar Lake Police Department; Lieutenant Jeremy Kelly, Indiana State Police; and Lieutenant Jerry Williams, Indiana State Police Lowell District Commander.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.