Washburn University Police celebrate 20 years

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Washburn University Police Department is celebrating their 20th year as a certified law enforcement agency. The department was started in 1997 as a way to make law enforcement more accessible people on campus.

They celebrated the milestone with an open house Wednesday. Current and former police department staff and school faculty members went to the celebration.

The department partnered with the university archives to display artifacts from the university’s security history. They showed old newspaper clippings, hats, badges and other pieces of equipment.

Chief Chris Enos was glad to show the department’s first chief, Gary Pettijohn, how the department has developed over time.

“When he started, he was authorized for four police officers and now we’re up to a force of 19,” Chief Enos said. “We cover two campuses, we have an officer full-time in the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) lab.”

He said Chief Pettijohn, his successor; Dean Foster, and other former staff members made the department better. “It’s a good chance for them to step back and celebrate what they’ve done.”

The department also celebrated Sgt. Alan Whitford’s career. Sgt. Whitford worked at the university for 29 years. He started as a security guard and became an officer when the police department was established.

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