UT System Police Featured Officer of the Month


September 2014

Stacey Rotunno

UT Dallas PD



I am originally from a very small town located in Michigan and I moved to Texas in June of 2006 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional and Technical Writing and Communication from Saginaw Valley State University. I began my law enforcement career in June of 2009 with the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department and attended the UT System Academy. I graduated from the academy in December of 2009 and began my field training on deep nights, where I stayed for over three years. In February 2012, I completed my training and obtained my Intermediate Peace Officer License. In September 2012, I received a promotion and became a corporal, which involved supervising the evening shift patrol officers and public safety officers when the sergeant was unavailable. In November of 2012, I was nominated by my fellow officers and supervisors and was awarded the honor of receiving the Officer of the Year award. In February of 2013, I entered the Criminal Investigations Division as a detective and have been developing the skills of an investigator. I recently took the Sergeant Promotion exam (and passed!) and I look forward to enhancing my career to an even higher level. I am also excited to help train the next officer assigned to CID so I can pass on all the knowledge I have obtained.
Being in law enforcement is highly rewarding, yet stressful at times. There are many days were I absolutely love my job and feel like I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Then there are the other types of days where I have to go back and remember why I chose this profession. On those days, I read an essay I wrote during my initial days of field training. This is what I wrote:

Why Do I Want to be a Police Officer?

All my life, I’ve been surrounded by people who want to do things to help other people – my hometown community, my church, my family, and my friends. When I was in high school my track coach was our school’s resource officer. His attitude toward the students and his strive for wanting to help people was something that inspired me to pursue a field in public service. My church held prayers groups, had food drives, and collected clothes for those in need, which inspired me to do the same. My mother has been a nurse all my life and has played a role in saving countless lives. She has shown me what a great fulfillment it is to make a difference in a strangers’ life.
By becoming a police officer I hope I can do my part to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is only to make a difference in one person’s life. I want to protect innocent people who need protection from criminals and protect those who need protection from themselves. I want to feel as if I am giving back to my community. I want to feel as if I am doing my part to make this world a safer place. There are some things that everyday people should not have to see or deal with. I am willing to see and deal with these things so other people don’t have to be effected.
This job allows me to meet new people every single day – I get to meet people from an abundance of different ages, cultures, races, ethnic groups, and backgrounds. By meeting new people and listening to them, I believe I will become a more rounded person and a better police officer. I get to hear people’s personal stories and see what they’ve gone through. I get to be a counselor, a friend, a mentor, and a role model for the people I interact with on a daily basis.
This line of work can be fun and exciting if you’re willing to find something to get into. One minute it can be quiet with nothing going on and the next minute can be pure chaos. A loud noise call can be turned into minors drinking. A simple traffic stop can be turned into a drug bust or a warrant for someone’s arrest. In addition, a traffic stop could be me saving someone’s life, such as taking a DWI off the street.
Another aspect of policing that is important to me is physical fitness. When I was preparing myself to make a commitment toward this profession I found myself at the gym five to six times a week working to meet my goals of fitness. I know that I must constantly remain physically fit to successfully fulfill the requirements of my job. My level of physical fitness could help save the lives of other officers, citizens, and even myself. I believe staying physically fit also helps with my mental stability and stress levels, which contributes to my overall health and well-being.
There are many reasons why I became a police officer. I have told you some of these reasons, but not all of them can be put into words.  However, they can be shown in my dedication to this profession and my desire of learning everything I can from senior officers. I will constantly strive to fulfill my responsibilities and be the best I can be. It is a privilege to be a police officer and not everyone can do this job.
I feel lucky that I have been chosen and trusted to be in such a rewarding profession.


Click the links below to go directly to prior Officers of the Month


July 2014

Officer Carolina Villareal

UT Austin PD

August 2014

Officer Robert Trimyer

UT Health Science Center San Antonio PD


April 2014

Gordon Firth

UT Dallas PD

May 2014

John Armstead

UT Houston PD

June 2014

Rey Trevino

UT Brownsville PD


January 2014

Robert DeRohn

UT San Antonio PD

February 2014

Joel Rivera

UT Arlington PD

March 2014

Natalie Rodriguez

UT Health Northeast PD


October 2013

Bobby Lane

UT San Antonio PD

November 2013

Charles Bonnet

UT Austin PD

December 2013

Kevin Gray

UT Houston PD


July 2013

Perla Noriega

UT Brownsville PD

August 2013

Jason Taylor

UT Austin PD

September 2013

Laura Davis

UT Austin PD


April 2013

Samantha Carter

UT Austin PD

May 2013

Jerry Blanco

UT Arlington PD

June 2013

David Sedmak

UT HSC San Antonio


January 2013

Clifford A. Douglas

UTMB Galveston PD

February 2013

Ashley Griffin

UT Austin PD

March 2013

Homar Bahena

UT Brownsville PD


October 2012

Scott H. Barnwell

UT MD Anderson PD

November 2012

Liju George

UT Southwestern PD

December 2012

Brandy Elliot

UT Tyler PD


July 2012

Molly Ralph

UT Pan American PD

August 2012

Joseph Michael Pasqua

UT Austin PD

September 2012

Dava Barnhart

UT Austin PD


April 2012

Angelia Lemmonds

UT MD Anderson PD

May 2012

Adam Jones

UT Southwestern PD

June 2012

Stefan Happ

UT MD Anderson PD




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