WT Police Department Achieves Statewide Recognition for Second Time

Chip Chandler Jun 18, 2020
  • Community
  • Featured

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,  


CANYON, Texas — For a second time, the West Texas A&M University Police Department has been recognized for its commitment to following best practices in law enforcement operations.

The University police department undertook a critical self-review of its policies, procedures, facilities and operations as part of the process of being named a Recognized Law Enforcement Agency from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation (TPCAF) Law Enforcement Recognition Program.

“Out of the more than 2,400 law enforcement organizations in Texas, only 160 have achieved recognized status, and even fewer have done it twice,” said UPD Chief Shawn Burns. “This honor is a testament to the hard work our police officers and support staff do every day to keep WT safe.”

This is a second recent award touting security at WT. In April, recognized WT as the safest school in Texas and in the Top 10 of the nation.

“This recertification shows how firmly committed our police department is to ensuring the safety and the rights of everyone in the WT family,” said University President Dr. Walter Wendler. “Safety is always one of our top priorities, and we are proud to work with such a strong team.” 

The recognition program, which began in 2006, evaluates a police department’s compliance with more than 168 best business practices for Texas law enforcement, which were developed by law enforcement professionals around the state to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service and the protection of individual’s rights. They cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.

“This honor, which was achieved following an independent review of our operations, should assure all members of our campus community that the UPD is committed to protecting everyone’s rights and keeping everyone safe,” Burns said.

The University police department was first recognized by the program in 2016. All police agencies recognized by the voluntary program must undergo an onsite inspection every fourth year. In order to secure this honor, the department began its lengthy review process in Fall 2019, providing proofs of compliance for each of the 168 best business practices. An outside audit and review was then conducted, followed by an on-site review between June 2 and 4 conducted by trained police chiefs and command staff from around the state. 

The West Texas A&M University Police Department is to be commended for the commitment made to this process. Every employee of the agency can be proud of this accomplishment,” said Scott Rubin, chairman of the TPCAF Recognition Program Committee and chief of campus public safety at Southwest School of Art in San Antonio.

An award presentation will take place at next year’s TPCAF Conference in Fort Worth, where the department will be formally recognized at an awards luncheon.

The University police department currently employs 18 officers and 13 support staff members.