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Assistant Chief Daniel M. Pena Announces Retirement

DanPena Daniel Mark Pena, a 37-year veteran of UT System law enforcement, has announced his plans to retire. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Police for UTSA. He oversees major components of the department including the patrol, investigations, and support services divisions.

Pena served at UT Austin from 1978 to 1982 and began his tenure at UTSA in January 1983. Pena has been assigned to various positions and ranks within the department including patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.

He holds certifications for master peace officer, law enforcement instructor, firearms instructor and crime prevention specialist through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He is also a graduate of the UT System Police Academy, the FBI National Academy and the D. Stafford Advanced Clery Academy.

Chief Pena was the 2011 recipient of the UTSA Order of the Roadrunner Award.  This award is given to an individual who demonstrates exemplary service and commitment to UTSA and the achievement of its goals through his or her actions throughout the year. This individual has enhanced the quality of work-life in ways that significantly increase productivity and efficiency for colleagues or customers to include developing creative solutions; provided outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students, and/or other UTSA customers. This is the highest honor that a UTSA staff member can receive for dedication to the UTSA community.   

Pena assisted with coordination and management of the National Institute of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program, funding ten police officers for our Community Oriented Policing programs. He was a critical driver of UTSA PD’s accreditation process through the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2008. CALEA’s 2017 reaccreditation process took place this summer. 

In 2010, he also assisted with the accreditation process for UTSAPD through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). UTSA holds the distinction of being dually accredited. Pena implemented the UTSA emergency notification system and the Giant Voice outdoor broadcast system to provide mass notifications to the UTSA community during campus emergencies.

Pena developed and implemented the creation of the Emergency Operations Center for use by the UTSA Emergency Response Team to serve as the control center in management of emergency incidents on campus.

He designed building security systems for new campus buildings as well as renovation of existing buildings. Elements have included electronic access control, security video and alarm monitoring. He coordinated the installation security cameras and emergency telephones in campus parking lots to increase security, prevent crimes and identify criminal offenders. Pena also assisted with formulation of a FEMA grant application for a “Threat Assessment Model” program that was awarded to UTSA. It provided a threat assessment guideline and equipment for conducting threat/risk assessments of university facilities.

Reception to Honor Assistant Chief Daniel Pena

 Please join us at a Retirement Reception to recognize AC Pena’s 37 years in service to campus safety.

-Wednesday, August 30
-11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
-University Room in the Business Building, 2.06.04
RSVP by August 23 to Taniesa Williams, x4249, or

In 2007, Pena served as project manager to oversee and coordinate the renovation of an existing campus building, the Bosque Building, to provide a new home for the UTSA Police Department. He completed an upgrade of police radio communications to ensure interoperability with local emergency response agencies including SAPD, SAFD, EMS, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and FEMA.

He also assisted UT System in developing threat assessments and security specifications for security design guidelines for UT component institutional buildings. Under his guidance, UTSA completed a joint emergency-response practical exercise with San Antonio PD, which involved an active shooter and hostage situation. A joint response from patrol was coordinated along with SWAT and Hostage Negotiation units. During the sophisticated drill, which involved the President’s Emergency Advisory Council, the UTSA Emergency Operations Center was activated to test executive oversight and management of the emergency incident.

Pena completed a joint emergency response practical exercise with SAFD involving an explosion and hazardous materials release (biological agent) from a BSL-3 lab. A joint response from UTSA police was coordinated along with SAFD HAZMAT and EMS.

In retirement, Pena plans to travel, spend time with his family, and may consult. He hopes to indulge in astronomy, his favorite hobby, using the telescopes he built in his garage.  Although he suspects that his wife’s to-do list may take precedence for a while. 

Captain Daniel J. Kiley will serve as interim assistant chief of police effective Sept 1.

We wish him the very best as he leaves UTSA and looks ahead to what’s next.




Updated 8-15-2017