CWU News

Central Washington University hires new chief of police

Joseph Han, Central Washington University’s Vice President of Operations, today appointed Jason Berthon-Koch as the new chief of police and director of public safety for the school’s Police and Parking Services.

Berthon-Koch, who served as interim chief of police since July 2017 following former Chief Michael Luvera’s departure, officially assumed the position on Jan. 16. 

“I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to continue working with such a dedicated staff that believes in the mission of the department and university,” Berthon-Koch said. “Being an alumnus of CWU I take great pride in working hard to see that CWU is a safe, inclusive and secure learning environment.”

Berthon-Koch received his bachelor’s degree in law and justice from CWU in 2007 and has worked with the department since 1999. Originally hired as an officer, he has held the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain.

During his time at the university, Berthon-Koch has received numerous awards and accomplishments including 2004 CWU Police Officer of the year, 2010 Recipient of Keys to Success Award from the Center for Student Empowerment at CWU, Law Enforcement Hero Award presented by The American Red Cross Kittitas County Chapter, and the 2016 Susan B. Anthony Award from R.A.D. Systems Inc.

“Jason has proven his ability to successfully lead the Police and Parking Services department,” Han noted. “He has continued to engage the campus community by meeting with cabinet members, university employees, faculty and student leaders, along with participating in numerous outreach initiatives.”

Prior to coming to CWU, Berthon-Koch was enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he received an honorable discharge. He also served as a Kittitas County reserve deputy and Kittitas County corrections officer.

“I look forward to working with our wonderful students, faculty and staff exploring new and innovative ways for community policing,” Berthon-Koch said.

Media contact: Chelsie Hadden, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1457,