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CWU police changed their uniform to break down barriers with students

CWU police changed their uniform to break down barriers with students. (Photo courtesy of Central Washington University.)

ELLENSBURG, Wash.- They have been called security officers, rent-a-cops and other names as they do their job at Central Washington University.

But CWU police officers are state commissioned officers who now have a more casual look on campus.

“We're willing to make a change and adjust our style to make it a little bit better of a bridge of a gap to say, 'hey this is who we are. We want you to feel comfortable talking to us,’” Captain Eric Twaites said.

The change includes khaki pants and a black polo that has all of CWU's police logos to distinguish them as officers.

The previous uniforms had the more traditional look similar to something you would see on a Yakima police officer.

This minor alteration is part of the school’s police trying to be involved with its students.

Corporal Andy Bayne said officers speak to all the first-year students who live on campus so they can know the people they serve.

“That opens up a lot more doors for us when we need to come in and do police work,” Bayne said.

However, if something were to happen on campus, Captain Twaites wants everyone to know they'll keep them safe. Regardless of what they are wearing.

“Hopefully we have already established that trust and ability for them to have faith and confidence in the level of service that we provide,” he said.

While the new uniform works when it's still warm outside, CWU police will go back to their traditional uniform or jumpsuits when it gets colder this winter.

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