JANUARY 27, 2022 — The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is making history by selecting Stephanie Schoenborn BA ’00, MPA ’17 to serve as the next Chief of Police, effective Feb. 1, 2022. The first woman to lead the UTSA Police Department (UTSAPD), Schoenborn is a 26-year law enforcement veteran who has served as interim Chief of Police since April 2021. She recently led the UTSAPD through the successful Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) reaccreditation process.
“It is my honor to appoint Stephanie Schoenborn as the next police chief. This is a historic and exciting moment for UTSA,” said Veronica Salazar, chief financial officer and senior vice president of Business Affairs. “Stephanie has the heart of a true public servant and cares deeply for the Roadrunner community. I am confident she will provide exceptional leadership to the UTSAPD team.”
Schoenborn joins Kim Lemaux of UT Arlington as one of two female police chiefs in the UT System. A Distinguished Command Award recipient from the UT System Office of the Director of Police, Schoenborn will lead UTSAPD’s 45 sworn officers and 65 civilian employees. She is dedicated to fostering a safe and respectful campus environment, developing opportunities for community involvement, creating specialized response units and working to improve the retention and hiring of officers.
“I watched with great admiration as Chief Schoenborn successfully navigated the challenges of serving as interim Chief of Police and demonstrated the resolve and confidence to take on an active leadership role at UTSAPD from day one,” said Michael Heidingsfield, director of police for the University of Texas System. “Her work has made it clear that a national search is not needed and that we have our very best candidate right here at UTSAPD. I applaud, support and endorse her selection.”
Heidingsfield notes that Schoenborn will do “eminently well in her new role as a leader in the University of Texas System Police, which includes 619 sworn law enforcement officers and 899 professional support staff members.”
“I am honored to be appointed as the Chief of Police for UTSA,” said Schoenborn. “I am humbled by the tremendous support I have received from our department and the entire campus community. Thank you to Senior Vice President Salazar and Director Heidingsfield for their immense support and encouragement. I look forward to our continued success as we explore new opportunities for fostering the relationships with our community.”
Under Schoenborn’s leadership, UTSAPD will continue to expand its community-police partnerships through a wide range of outreach programs and initiatives focused on improved accountability, accessibility and visibility on campus. In recent years, the police department has taken important steps toward building relationships, including implementing Fair and Impartial Policing training, expanding the bicycle patrol program and more. Schoenborn will engage in innovative strategies to promote safety and sense of belonging on campus, focused on mutual respect between officers and the campus community.
A long-time Roadrunner and proud alumna, Schoenborn graduated from UTSA with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. She joined UTSAPD in 1993 and became a police officer in 1995, graduating from the 60th UT System Basic Police Academy. Promoted to captain in June of 2016, Schoenborn was selected by UT System Police Department to serve as interim assistant Chief of Police for a period in 2018 at UT Medical Branch in Galveston.
Schoenborn’s commitment to community service extends beyond campus. She holds a Master Peace Officer license and graduated from the 238th session of the FBI National Academy, where she later served on the executive board for nine years, including the role of president of the board in 2019. During that time, Schoenborn was actively involved in coordinating specialized training events in the greater San Antonio region. She currently serves as chairperson for the Alamo Area Council of Governments Regional Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Board.
During her tenure with UTSAPD, Schoenborn has been responsible for the administrative operations of Public Safety, including managing the police department budget, employment, internal affairs and other critical functions.
UTSA will host a swearing-in ceremony later this semester.
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