CWU News

Central Washington University hires new officer

Central Washington University’s Police and Parking Services welcomes a new police officer to its team. Roberto Beleche, 27, who graduated from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy on Thursday, March 1, is the newest member of CWU’s 11-officer team. 

Beleche received his two bachelor’s degrees in law and justice and political science from CWU in 2014. The choice to become a police officer was one of accelerating and advancing some of the things he already did in his day-to-day life.

“I always found myself helping people at random and doing it as a job would be a pleasure,” Beleche said. “The ability to make a difference in this career and give back to the community is something that means a lot to me.”

Beleche attended an intense 17-week program at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy where he endured extensive physical and mental training and testing to prepare him to adequately serve and protect the community.

“Finishing the police academy was a huge accomplishment for me,” Beleche said. “It showed me that I still have the same discipline, work ethic, and drive I did when I graduated from CWU.” 

He graduated among recruits from law agencies across the state. 

“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity, and it’s awesome to come back to a place that has given so much to me,” Beleche said. “’I’m excited to interact with the students, since I was once walked in their shoes. If I can be the one to inspire, and or show that accomplishments like the ones I’ve achieved are possible, that in itself would be an accomplishment for me.”

Beleche, the youngest of three siblings, was born in Jalisco, Mexico. His family then moved to Yakima, Washington, where he has lived since he was two years old. He and his parents own a business in Yakima called Chelitos, where they sell a variety of Mexican treats. Beleche credits his parents for the person he is today. 

“I was raised by my parents to work hard for what you want,” Beleche said.

His family and new co-workers were at his police academy graduation in full force, proud of his success and the career he is embarking on.

“I am blessed to have the support of my family, girlfriend and friends to get me through every day,” Beleche said. “And I couldn’t have asked for a better department and group of people to work with. They’re genuinely like family.”

Beleche assumed his official role as a police officer at CWU on Sunday, March 4.

“It feels great to have the official title of a peace officer in Washington state,” he said. “I am excited to see where this career takes me.” 

Beleche will now go through a 14-week Field Training Officers program where he will be trained on how the CWU officers interact and responds to the university community. 

"We are excited that Roberto has joined our team.  We look forward to him making a positive impact on our community," CWU police chief Jason Berthon-Koch said. "Roberto is a graduate from CWU and the CWU TRIO program which makes him a valuable asset to our team as he already knows how the University functions from being a student."

Media contact:

Chelsie Hadden, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1457,