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Law and Justice

College of the Sciences

Welcome to the department of Law and Justice. This page is dedicated to current and prospective Law and Justice students.

While here you can learn about our programs, careers, our professors, our classes and

just about anything and everything you could ever want to know about the

Law and Justice department, located on the 3rd floor of Farrell Hall. 


 *If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney. The Law and Justice Department is an academic entity only. 

CWU Law and Justice Objective

Support the Department of Law and Justice: The CWU Foundation and Alumni Association is accepting donations for the Women in Law Enforcement Scholarship Fund and the Law and Justice Department Fund. For more information or to contribute to either of these funds, visit this page.

All contributions to the CWU Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by IRS regulations. Thank you for supporting the CWU Foundation. As required by law, the CWU Foundation is registered with the Washington State Charities Program and financial information may be obtained by calling 800-332-4483 or 360-725-0378. Central Washington University is an AA/EEO/Title IX Institution. For accommodation:

 Former Yakima County Sheriff Brian Winter dies

CWU Law & Justice Alumni

Former Yakima County Sheriff Brian Winter died Saturday, the sheriff’s office announced. Winter, who was elected in 2014, declined to run for a second term after being diagnosed with ALS. He was 60 years old. “Brian has faithfully served his community and his country,” the sheriff’s office said in announcing Winter’s death. “He is at rest.” Yakima County Commission Chairman Norm Childress and Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic remembered Winter as a man who deeply cared for the community he served and who worked to build bridges with the public and the Yakama Nation. Born in Pasadena, Calif., Winter grew up in Harrah, where his father, Chuck, was a minister in the Grace Brethren Church. He graduated from White Swan High School in 1977 and earned a bachelor’s degree in law and justice at Central Washington University in 1983. After graduation Winter joined the Marine Corps reserves and, in 1987, was hired as an auxiliary police officer in Union Gap. Winter was deployed with a Marine Corps tank company in December 1990 as part of Operation Desert Shield. It was the same day the sheriff’s office offered him a job as a deputy. In a 2018 interview, Winter recalled his wife telling the agency that he “just left for parts unknown and I don’t know when he’ll be back.” The office held the spot for Winter, who became a deputy when he returned in July 1991. In the sheriff’s office, Winter rose from deputy to lieutenant in 1999, overseeing all patrol operations. At the sheriff’s office, Winter worked with search-and-rescue and the water rescue teams, as well as overseeing the Block Watch and Citizen Patrol programs, including expanding the latter into other parts of the county. Winter was deployed with the Marines in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, when U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein. During that tour of duty, Winter served as an anti-terrorism officer and the senior military police officer for the Marines in Iraq. After returning from that deployment, he was given command of the Marine’s 4th Tank Battalion. He retired from the reserves in 2011 as a lieutenant colonel. Brusic, who had known Winter since 1991 when he was a deputy prosecutor and Winter was a new deputy, said one of Winter’s greatest legacies was his ability to communicate with the public and other groups.

“He liked talking to people ... and helping them understand they had the backing of law enforcement,” Brusic said.

Yakima Herald Article


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Ryan Thompson Memorial Endowed Scholarship Created at CWU

Central Washington University Alumni Association Board of Directors, along with members of the CWU Campus Police department have established an endowed scholarship fund in honor of alumnus and former CWU police officer Ryan Thompson, who was recently killed in the line of duty as a Kittitas County Sheriff Deputy.

The Ryan Thompson Memorial Endowed Scholarship will provide financial aid to students attending CWU who are pursuing a career in law enforcement—with a preference given to students who are themselves dependents of law enforcement personnel.

“We felt it was very important for Ryan’s memory and legacy to be preserved in perpetuity here at Central,” said CWU Alumni Association President Dan Nicklaus. “Not only for the person that he was, but also for the example of leadership and service that he will continue to be for CWU students for decades to come.”

“Ryan was a friend, colleague, and an important part of the CWU and greater Kittitas County community,” said CWU Campus Police Chief Jason Berthon-Koch. “We are delighted to partner with the CWU Alumni Association to make sure his contributions and sacrifice are never forgotten.”

Additional contributions in Ryan’s memory can be made to the Ryan Thompson Memorial Endowed Scholarship by visiting or by calling 509.963.2160.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,

Informational Content:

To give to the Ryan Thomson Memorial Endowed Scholarship, please visit our give page and select the ‘Ryan Thompson Memorial Endowed Scholarship’ as the designated fund.

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