Mitch Walker, patrol captain with the WKU Police Department, has been named interim chief of the department.
Walker, who has 26 years of law enforcement experience, will assume his new duties Friday (Aug. 12) following the retirement of Chief Robert Deane. A national search for a permanent chief will begin immediately.
Walker said he plans to meet with all of the department’s officers and staff to discuss the transition, roles and responsibilities, budget and the implementation of changes, some of which were outlined in a recent review commissioned by Student Affairs Vice President Brian Kuster.
“In moving forward, I will use the assessment as a guide to make immediate changes within the department, both short- and long-term, in order to establish a solid foundation for the organization,” Walker said. “Objectives include strengthening relationships and services with local law enforcement agencies and serving the students and their families, and faculty and staff with presence and accountability.”
Kuster said WKU is “very fortunate to have someone with Mitch Walker’s experience who can step in and continue to move the WKU Police Department forward. Capt. Walker understands the challenges ahead of him but is very willing to begin tackling them as we prepare for a new police chief. I believe he will have the support from the Police Department to make positive changes.”
Kuster thanked Deane for his 18 years as police chief at WKU and his dedicated service to the University and commitment to the community.
“Bob has been the ultimate professional during his entire career,” Kuster said. “It has been a pleasure working with Chief Deane these last eight months as we prepared for his retirement.”
Walker began his law enforcement career in 1990 in his hometown of Burkesville. He joined the Bowling Green Police Department in 1996, retiring after 16 years before joining WKU Police. He will graduate from WKU this fall with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Students.
He is married to Tonya Walker and they have a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Shawn.
Contact: Brian Kuster, (270) 745-2791