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Brief History of The University of Texas System Police

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Created by the State of Texas Legislature in the wake of the active shooter event of August 1, 1966, the University of Texas System Police charter was to ‘…employ and commission peace officers for the purpose of protecting life and property…’ at the campuses of the University of Texas System or wherever else UT interests or assets were represented or present.  This decision was followed by the creation of the Office of the Director of Police and the University of Texas System Police Academy in 1968 and thus began the 50+ year legacy of which we are a part today.  Since that time 100 basic peace officer training classes have been successfully conducted by the Police Academy with over 2,000 graduates since January of 1968.  Today the University of Texas System Police deploys 600+ sworn police officers and 900+ civilian staff members across the State of Texas and at 15 institutions to fulfill that original mandate to protect life and property.  With over 600 sworn officers the UT System Police as an agency is larger than 95% of the 15,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. It is interesting to note that the current Director of Police, Michael Heidingsfield, who began his law enforcement career with the University of Texas System Police in 1975 at UT Arlington and returned in 2011 as the System’s seventh Director of Police, has the lowest badge number within the System Police (135) while the newest officers number their badges in the thousands.  It is this new generation of police officers who are tasked with protecting one of the four largest public university systems in the United States and it is to them that this web site is dedicated.

Mileposts of the University of Texas System Police - a presentation by Dan Raff, with contributions by ODOP Staff.

Former Directors of UT System Police:

  • John Slettebo (originally from UTEP)
  • Roy Baldridge (originally from Austin PD)
  • P.D. Bedinger (originally from Illinois State Police)
  • Floyd Hacker (from Texas DPS)
  • Frank Cornwall (from Dallas PD)
  • George Carlson (retired FBI)

 

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