EWU Police Chief Receives Employer Patriot Award

March 9, 2023

EWU Police Chief Jewell Day recently received the U.S. Armed Forces Guard and Reserve Employer Patriot Award, an honor reflecting the high level of support that Day has shown for his employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

The award was announced at the EWU Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 24 by Dave Millet, director of the Veteran’s Resource Center at EWU.

Day, an Eastern alumnus, was honored as part of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program of the U.S. Department of Defense. He was nominated by Deputy Chief Sean O’Laughlin, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

“It was a complete shock and surprise, I wasn’t expecting it but it was probably one of the top honors of my life, I should say, having grown up military,” says Day.

Day, whose father was an U.S. Army veteran, says he has held military service in high regard not only during the 16 years he’s worked at the EWU Police Department but throughout his life.

“My foundation is discipline and integrity,” Day says. “My Dad raised us like little soldiers and instilled all those principles, which have served me well in my law enforcement career.”

Day is originally from a small town in called Blytheville, Arkansas, located about an hour outside of Memphis, Tennessee. The family moved across the country to Lakewood, Washington, and his father retired out of Fort Lewis during Day’s junior year of high school. After graduating, Day came to Eastern on a football scholarship.

EWU soon became his “home away from home,” Day says. He met his wife at Eastern, and two of his three children attended EWU as well.

Military service was originally going to be his career path, Day recalls. But at Eastern he chose the route of law enforcement.  “Law enforcement mirrors the military in a lot of ways,” he says. “It’s selfless service, there are a lot of sacrifices that not only yourself but your family makes in service of others.”

“‘I’m very appreciative of our troops and the tremendous sacrifices that they give every day in support of our country and making sure we’re able to lead the lives that we lead and have the freedoms that we have,” Days says, adding that “my debt of gratitude to them is immeasurable.”

(Thank you to Cheyanne Walters Photography for taking the photo of Chief Day accepting the Award.)