Yeagley to retire after 10 years as CMU police chief


CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley talks to university officials on his cell phone as two firefighters prepare to enter Dow Science Complex to contain the contaminated area Friday. (Central Michigan Life File Photo)

Central Michigan University Chief of Police William Yeagley will retire his badge this summer after a decade of serving the campus community.

He will retire effective July 31. During his time with CMUPD, he had several accomplishments in the safety of the campus community, including the development of a community policing program in the residence halls and improving security measures for home football games

“During his time at Central, Chief Yeagley has been an outstanding leader — within his team and across campus — and accomplished great things,” said Barrie Wilkes, associate vice president for finance and administrative services, in a CMU press release.  “He has been an active, influential member of our campus community and takes the safety of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding area seriously. He lives safety, leadership and communication every day.”

Though Yeagley took over as CMU police chief in 2009, he has served in law enforcement for 41 years. Yeagley served as director of public safety for the city of Mount Pleasant Police Department and spent a year as deputy sheriff for the Clare County Sheriff Department.

Yeagley attended CMU and played football during CMU's 1974 Division II National Championship victory. He went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University. He is a graduate of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Session, according to the press release.

A critical factor in finding Yeagley's successor will be the understanding that policing a university campus is unique, Wilkes said.

“Challenges in a higher education environment are different than typical law enforcement,” he said. “To be effective, you need to be able to build relationships with administrators, students, faculty and staff across campus. You also need to be able to communicate effectively — earlier and more often than you would in other environments.”

Jonathan Webb, associate vice president for facilities management, will lead the search for CMU’s next police chief. The position will be posted Feb. 10. 

The other search committee members are:

  • Adam Epstein, faculty, finance and law
  • Shaun Holtgrieve, executive director, student affairs
  • Sherry Knight, associate vice president, University Communications
  • Mary Martinez, deputy director, Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity
  • A.T. Miller, vice president and chief diversity officer
  • Mike Morrow, sergeant, CMU Police Department
  • Stan Shingles, associate vice president, University Recreation
  • Jason VanConant, officer, CMU Police Department, and president, Police Officers Association of Michigan

“It has been a privilege to serve this outstanding institution for the past 10 years,” Yeagley said. “Being a university police chief means holding the safety of every student, faculty and staff member, and visitor in your hands. Every member of this department understands we are members of a tight-knit community and feels tremendous responsibility to protect and contribute to CMU’s safety and culture.”