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UTSA police officers
UTSA color guard: From left are Officer Mark Smith, Cpl. Thomas
Calucci and Officer Geoffrey Merritt

UTSA observes Law Enforcement Appreciation Week

(May 8, 2006)--In recognition of Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, UTSA salutes the 48 officers in the UTSA Police Department from May 8 to 15. See the event schedule below.

"We are grateful to the officers who protect and serve, and I encourage everyone to take a moment to stop and thank them for their hard work and dedication," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

Under the leadership of Chief David Hernandez and Assistant Chief Dan Pena, the UTSA Police Department continues to expand its services to ensure that the UTSA community and visitors feel safe and secure.

"The men and women of the UTSA Police Department provide professional and quality services to our customers," said Hernandez. "Their commitment and dedication is something that we can all be proud of."

UTSA police officers are certified and commissioned Texas Peace Officers who have completed five months of training at the UT System Police Academy in Austin. UT System Police officers must complete 884 hours of training, 266 hours more than required by the state. More than half of the officers have bachelor's or master's degrees.

UTSA police officers work in three divisions (executive, patrol and administration) and seven units (criminal investigations, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, telecommunications, access control, records and training).

Among their regular duties, the officers provide services including:

  • Residential checks for out-of-town residents
  • Fingerprinting for anyone requesting it for potential jobs
  • Presentations on topics including drug and alcohol education and awareness, hazing, personal safety
  • Security assessments of living areas and offices
  • Student and employee escorts
  • Special event security

A 2005 survey of UTSA students and staff reporting criminal activity found more than 90 percent selected "excellent" or "above average" in the quality of service they received from a UTSA police officer. Survey categories included knowledge, helpfulness, friendliness, quality of service, professional conduct, providing complete information and response time.

Among those surveyed, 77 percent felt safer on campus than off and 92 percent thought the UTSA Police Department contributes significantly to a safe academic environment.

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Law Enforcement Appreciation Week events

  • May 8, 10 p.m.-midnight, Pancake Breakfast, Roadrunner Cafe, $6 general public, free for students with UTSACard
  • May 8-9, UTSA Police Department Open House, tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • May 8-12, Summer Safety "Citations" wishing students a safe summer with safety tips
  • May 15, 3 p.m., Wreath and flag ceremony with honor guard and university officials, 1604 Campus flagpoles, between John Peace Library Building and Arts Building

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