Eric James

Eric James

Assistant Vice President, Chief of Police


Chief James began his career at the University of Nevada, Reno Police in 2003. In 2004, he was selected to represent the department on the Washoe County, Nevada SWAT team. He has served as Range Instructor, Training Officer, and POST instructor.  In 2005, he created a motorcycle unit at the university and served as a motor officer until his promotion to Commander in 2009.

Chief James has been an instructor for law enforcement and civilian personnel at the University for many years. He has promoted workplace safety, sexual assault prevention, the dangers of underage drinking and critical incident response. In 2005, he began teaching women’s Rape Aggression Defensive (RAD) to students, faculty, staff and the Reno community. In 2017, he established drop-in classes for Girls on Guard, another women’s self-defense course, at the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center.

He has been involved in the campus alcohol programs since 2008, working on alcohol management at events, directing enforcement on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods, and working with students and parents to promote safe and legal activities for undergraduates. He has overseen the safety and game-day operations for all significant events since 2009 with no significant incidents and reduced overall alcohol incidents at football games.

In 2016, Chief James became a Blue Courage Instructor. Blue Courage is described as a way of being – a philosophy that inspires one to embody the noblest of character and unquestioned devotion. It is to flourish in all aspects of life, act with practical wisdom, exude vitality, and hearten human connections.

Chief James is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy 252. In addition to his roles in Police Services, he is a John Maxwell certified leadership coach; a member of the University of Nevada, Reno Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; a CrossFit instructor at the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center; and the department head fitness coach for the Officer Fitness Program.

Before his work with University police, Chief James served in the United States Marine Corps for 12 years. During his time in the Marine Corps, he served as a Mountain Warfare Specialist, Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Staff Sergeant.  He has received numerous awards for leadership and excellence in the performance of his duties.

Chief James has also received the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor for his actions during a SWAT call-out on November 9, 2008.