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WIU Chief Derek Watts
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WIU Officer Jason Lytle
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WIU Celebrates National Police Week By Recognizing Those Who Serve

May 13, 2024

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University proudly commemorates National Police Week by shining a spotlight on both the esteemed Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA) program, the largest of its kind in Illinois and the region and the exemplary service of its Office of Public Safety (OPS) officers.

"The School of LEJA has a more than 50-year history at WIU," WIU LEJA Professor and Assistant Director Jamie Johnson said. "We are currently ranked as one of the top five programs in the nation and the number one program in the state. The heart of our program is the outstanding faculty and staff. They bring expertise from all ranges of federal, state, and local government as well as in the private security areas. This ensures that all students, in any of our programs, obtain a premier education."

The LEJA program at WIU is the largest undergraduate law enforcement/criminal justice program in Illinois and the region. Students pursuing this course of study receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. The program is designed to provide professional knowledge, understanding, and skills for criminal justice and loss prevention personnel while developing an educational base for further development into staff and administrative positions in criminal justice and private security agencies. The program allows the student ample flexibility for liberal and professional education to meet the anticipated needs of the criminal justice network. Most majors in the program participate in an internship for one academic semester to gain firsthand experience with criminal justice agencies at the federal, state, county, and local levels. Graduates find employment in city, county, state and federal agencies, in private security, corrections, courts and in adult and juvenile court services.

Additionally, WIU extends gratitude to its dedicated OPS officers, headed by Chief Derek Watts and Officer Jason Lytle, who collectively represent over 49 years of service to the campus community. Chief Watts, has been at WIU since 1998 and has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout his tenure, while Officer Lytle's contributions as a Master Firearms instructor and lead trainer in active threat preparedness have significantly enhanced campus safety. Their legacies have a significant impact on their commitment to safeguarding the University community.

As Police Week honors the bravery and sacrifice of law enforcement professionals nationwide, WIU encourages all to reflect on the contributions of those who risk their lives daily to protect and serve. Let us take a moment of silence to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

For more information on WIU's OPS, visit, and explore the global footprint of LEJA alumni at For more information on WIU's LEJA program, visit
For additional information on WIU's LEJA program state and national rankings, visit and

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