Colleagues remember former Stanislaus State Chief of Police James “Jim” Shaw as an involved and dedicated leader who supported the professional development of future public safety leaders and committed himself to ensuring a safe campus community.
Shaw died on June 28, surrounded by loved ones. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, July 29, at Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home.
Born in Texas and raised in Walnut Creek, Shaw was a longtime Modesto area resident who eventually settled in Ripon. He worked for the Livermore and Oakland police departments early in his career, then joined Stan State’s University Police Department (UPD) in 1977, retiring in 1998. He moved to Washington to lead the police department at Western Washington University for 10 years, then returned to the Modesto area and became the Escalon Police Chief for several years.
His long, successful career also included serving in the U.S. Army and 26 years in the Air Force Reserve, from which he retired as a lieutenant colonel.
During his time at Stan State, Shaw introduced several programs that continue to play important roles in protecting the campus community. In 1990, he installed the blue light phone system of 23 emergency call boxes across campus. Four years later, he introduced the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) program, which has empowered thousands of Warriors over the last 28 years by teaching risk-reduction strategies and realistic self-defense techniques.
Shaw was instrumental in the construction of the current Campus Services building, which houses UPD and was completed in 1997. He also established the Parking Management Bureau (PMB) based on a vision and desire to better serve Stan State and other colleges and universities. Today, the PMB supports nine other CSU campuses and 10 community colleges. It has funded numerous student scholarships and allows UPD to support student-focused activities, including the Student Police Academy.
Stanislaus State Police Chief Clint Strode said the people Shaw worked with remember him most for the way he supported and invested in his UPD family. Strode said Shaw was known for recognizing and cultivating the potential he saw in many of his student employees and volunteers, including Amy Thomas, currently the director of Risk Management and Environmental Health & Safety at CSU Monterey Bay; Matt Dillon, retired chief of police at CSU Chico; and Misty Strode, emergency management and business continuity specialist at Stan State.
“It wasn’t uncommon to see Chief Shaw at Warrior Arena on Thursday nights playing intermural sports among Stan State students,” said Strode, who was among the young people Shaw encouraged and mentored years ago. “A couple of the students he played basketball with and mentored are now UPD Community Service Officer Baltazar Reyes and Lieutenant Steve Olson.
“Chief Shaw has been away from our campus for a while, but his legacy is still present in many of the places and people across the CSU and here at Stanislaus State,” Strode said. “We all thank him for his service.”
Shaw is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Shaw, three children, three siblings, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The location of Shaw’s memorial service is 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. The family asks that donations in his memory be made to Community Hospice.