Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Working at CSU

Police chief is a force on campus

May 27, 2010
By Paul Miller

When Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt joined Colorado State as police chief last year, she more than doubled the number of staff she had as chief of police at the University of Northern Colorado, her previous employer. Throw in substantially larger faculty and student populations here compared to UNC, and Rich-Goldschmidt says she feels at times like she's drinking from a fire hose.

Building relationships and rapport

Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt joined Colorado State University as police chief in 2009.

But as the new leader of 38 police and 30 support staff, she has the chops to make an impact, fire hose or not. She’s been re-charging the atmosphere in the department for the better, says Frank Johnson, assistant police chief, and has been building relationships and rapport with other police agencies and with the campus at large.

“I love the energy here,” Rich-Goldschmidt says. “In a sense, my job is easier because of the high level of cooperation that I’ve inherited.”

Grad of FBI National Academy

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, she was Corrections Officer and Security Guard in several locations before joining UNC in 2003, where she began as a patrol officer and served as a senior training officer after 1991.

Her ties to Greeley are academic and family oriented as well. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice and a master’s in educational technology, both from UNC, and her husband is a police lieutenant on the city of Greeley’s investigations force.

Early in her academic career, Rich-Goldschmidt admits she had no clue what she wanted to pursue as a vocation.

“But then I took a sociology course, and for a few weeks we studied law enforcement,” she says. “I was hooked from then on.”

Strengthen existing community policing

Rich-Goldschmidt (“The last part is a solidly German name,” she notes) plans to strengthen CSU’s existing initiative of community policing, which sends officers out to walk the campus and talk with students, staff, and faculty. A benign but constant presence is as important to building trust with the public as responding to crises situations, she says.

In fact, she’s been out in the community quite a bit over the years herself, including:

  • past and present positions on the Weld County School District Six Career and Education Technical advisory council
  • UNC’s ROTC advisory board
  • Weld County Criminal Justice Advisory committee
  • Colorado Sexual Assault Prevention Advisory committee
  • Weld Women’s Fund board of directors
  • Weld County Youth, Families and Children advisory committee

She also has volunteered in food preparation and service at the Guadalupe Homeless Shelter, UNC’s Center for International Education as a host family, Greeley Relay for Life as a team captain, and as a Sunday school teacher and drama club director.

Selected from 60 highly qualified candidates

Blanche Hughes, vice president of Student Affairs who was chairwoman of the search committee for police chief early this year, says Rich-Goldschmidt was chosen from 60 highly qualified candidates from across the country.

In addition to leading CSU’s police, Rich-Goldschmidt is playing a key role on the University’s Public Safety Team.

Originally published in Colorado State Magazine, Spring 2010.