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Hansen steps down as WSU police chief

PULLMAN – Washington State University Police Chief Steve Hansen will step down from that position, which he has held since 2000 and become a lieutenant on the force.

The announcement comes at the conclusion of a WSU internal auditor’s investigation into a complaint of improper computer use in the police department. According to the auditor’s report, Hansen viewed e-mails that were sent to him containing inappropriate material, forwarded such e-mails to Assistant Chief Scott West and invited other members of the department to view them.

University policy forbids use of university time and computers for such activity.

“That was a mistake on my part and I want to apologize for the embarrassment it has caused the department and the university. Because of this situation, I accept the administration’s decision to demote me to lieutenant,” Hansen said.

Richard Heath, senior associate vice president for business affairs who oversees the WSU police department, said Hansen offered to step down from the chief’s position and the search for a new chief will begin shortly. The effective date of the change will be May 16, to facilitate an orderly transition and to coincide with the end of the academic year, Heath said.

Hansen has been a member of the WSU Police since 1983.
As chief, Hansen earns $83,681 per year. As a lieutenant, he will receive $69,500.

West, who has been with the WSU Police for 33 years, has decided to retire, effective May 1.

The Internal Auditor’s Report in Microsoft Word format is available at

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