Chrishauna Curry | Echo
The campus police department takes pride in protecting Taylor students. Jeff Wallace, chief of police, used to be a police officer in Detroit, Michigan for 13 years. Although he always loved law enforcement, Wallace said that he felt as though God had something else for him. His obedience to God led him to find what he was missing, and later on he found his purpose at Taylor in 2003.
Wallace said working at Taylor University has been a beautiful and growing experience. His favorite aspect of the job is being able to build and maintain a relationship with the students at Taylor.
Tim Felver, deputy chief of police, has served as a police officer in Marion for 20 years, but has lived in Upland for most of his life. He said that he has seen the growth of Taylor over the years.
"I watched Taylor grow and evolve into the school it is now," Felver said.
He has been working at Taylor since last year after the retirement of the previous deputy chief police officer. What amazed him about Taylor was that 27 countries were represented at his first graduation last May. Felver loves the diversity on campus because it is much different than what he has experienced during his two decades serving as a police officer in Marion.
When Wallace and Felver are not on duty, they are actively engaged on campus. Felver expressed with excitement that he enjoys attending plays and sporting events on campus when he is not patrolling. Meanwhile, Wallace is currently in his third year of teaching human relations in organizations, which is comprised of five students that meets three times a week. Within the class, Wallace focuses of creating a safe space for the students to have engaging and meaningful conversations.
When he is not in the classroom, Wallace also assists in leading students on missionary trips to various countries. Leading these trips creates a close relationship with students that Wallace takes pride in.
Junior Stevanni Mccray, who works in the campus police department, said she really appreciates her relationship with the chief police officer. She felt confident in knowing that she can confide in him whenever she is having a difficult time. Mccray also expressed that she has had a positive experience working in the campus police due to her close relationship with Wallace and supportiveness of the department.
Wallace and Felver are also responsible for the discipline of students.
"It can be the hardest thing and the most beautiful thing all in the same process," Wallace said.
By having tough conversations with students that need to be disciplined, he gets to love the students well. Wallace believes that acknowledging our downfalls encourages growth.
He said that although the discipline process is difficult, he gets to walk in brokenness with the students. In the midst of disciplining students, Wallace reminds them that even he is broken and all of mankind are all broken.
"We all stumble in life from time to time, but it's what you do afterwards; it's how you react to that." Wallace said.
According to Felver, even in situations where he had to give lectures or scold student, he wants students to keep in mind that he is their caretaker.
Felver and Wallace both agree that they see themselves as parental figures to the students on campus.
"It says 'police officer' on my shirt, but it could say parent," Felver said.
Felver can empathize with the parents of students wondering who is going to take care of their children if they ever needed help. He understands their concern because he has had the same experience with his two sons when dropping them off to college.
Because of this, he makes it his main agenda to makes sure that no one on campus is getting hurt or ensuring that someone that is not supposed to be on campus does not threaten the student's safety.
"There is nothing more important to us than keeping you all safe," said Wallace said.