WSUPD officers apply for same promotion to sergeant


Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

Left: Wichita State patrol and field training officer Kegan Harmes gives a presentation to fellow officers and others in attempt to receive a promotion to a sergeant position. Harmes had been involved with law enforcement for nine years. Right: Wichita State patrol officer Matthew Blades gives a presentation in attempt to receive a promotion to a sergeant position. Blades had been involved with law enforcement for about four years.

Patrol officers Kegan Harmes and Matthew Blades come from two different worlds: first and third shift. 

Both officers are up for a promotion to sergeant but only one vacancy stands. The two gave separate presentations to fellow officers and others in the room in an attempt to secure the promotion Friday afternoon.

“We have a pre-built in department mission, and our mission is to ensure our entire community receives quality law enforcement services in a fair and compassionate manner while enhancing our student’s educational experience through guidance and support,” Harmes said. 

Harmes has been involved with law enforcement exclusively at Wichita State for nine years, serving as a patrol and field training officer. In his presentation, Harmes noted several important leadership elements he hopes to execute as a sergeant, like being a role model, having clear mission goals and knowing your officers.

“If I can do all of those things efficiently, I will be a supervisor that (officers) can look to for clarity and guidance,” Harmes said. “My leadership standard will create motivated and compassionate officers. This in turn creates officers that are more involved with our WSU community and build stronger connections with students, faculty and staff.”

Blades has worked for the WSU police department for about four years. Blades plans to uphold the department’s four core values if promoted to sergeant: professionalism, integrity, personal responsibility and effective collaboration.

“As a leader, you’re not just serving your community, you should be serving all of your officers as well,” Blades said. “A lot of people will refer to this as servant leadership, and I’ve always really liked that as a term.”

Despite working the night shift, Blades said getting out and making connections with the community is crucial. 

“I think as a leader, it’s really important to encourage your people to get out of their car and walk around, talk to people and make good connections.”

Captain Kyle Garwood said that the promotional decision will be decided in about a week. Officers up for promotion typically go through a written test, presentations to the community and a few interviews.

WSUPD promotions can usually be found via the department’s Facebook or Twitter.