The Colorado State University Police Department will celebrate 50 years of service to the campus and community in August with a reunion for past and present employees.
The Police Department was founded in April 1955 when M. Wayne Teegarden was hired to establish a parking program for the college, then known as Colorado A&M. The college found itself in a void in terms of its law enforcement needs: The campus was not annexed into the city until 1956, and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department consisted of the sheriff, three deputies, a matron and a jailer to take care of the whole county.
Teegarden was in uniform and the governing board had approved the name "campus police" for the department, so people came to him with their law-enforcement problems. Teegarden eventually hired a night patrolman and had a crew of more than 20 sworn officers when he retired in 1985.
The department has had three chiefs during its existence. Donn Hopkins led the department from 1985 to 2003. Chief Dexter Yarbrough has led the department since September 2003.
In its 50-year existence, the department has had more than 1,000 employees. Many of them have gone on to outstanding careers with other law enforcement agencies in Colorado and throughout the United States. Sgt. Chris Wolf is trying to locate as many former employees as possible to celebrate this important milestone. On Aug. 13, current and former employees and their families will be invited to a tour of the department followed by dinner at the University Park Hilton Hotel.
During the anniversary year, all officers will wear commemorative badges on their uniforms. The historic "seven-point star" badge remains an authorized department insignia and may still be carried by officers.
Badges, uniforms and staff may have changed over the years, but the department’s commitment to the safety of the Colorado State community has remained a constant.
For more information about the anniversary event or safety and security related to Colorado State, visit the police department web site at http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CSUPD/csupd.html or call Officer Yvonne Paez or Sgt. Chris Wolf at (970) 491-6425.