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New Chief to Lead University Police

The University of St. Thomas named James Tate as chief of University Police on Feb. 24. Tate replaces Daryl Bissett who held the position of chief of Security for six years.

Tate brings with him a wealth of experience to his new position.  He recently comes to UST after two years at Lamar University, where he served as captain and then assistant police chief of its security department.  Tate started his police career with the Jonesboro, Arkansas Police Department.  He served as a patrol office, D.A.R.E. officer and a SWAT team member.  He later was called for active duty in the National Guard.  After his tour in Germany, he joined the military full-time. He served in various leadership positions including military police officer. Tate retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel after 21 years of Army service and re-entered civilian law enforcement in 2011 as a police officer with the University of Arkansas Police Department in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Tate will help the University transition from an Office of Campus Security to a police department over the next three years.

“Chief Tate has an exciting challenge ahead of him as he establishes our University Police Department, Patricia McKinley, vice president for student affairs, said. “He is already working to learn more about our campus community, so that he can develop a police department that will be a good fit for UST.”

All colleges and universities are taking a close look at the level of security on their campuses. Recently the University conducted a rigorous review of security reports, neighborhood crime statistics and researched safety and security departments at other private colleges in Texas. 

“The University concluded that it can’t stop crime from happening on our campus, but a visible police force would help deter it,” said McKinley.  “The University will be able to respond to incidents more quickly and be prepared to take appropriate police action.”

Crime statistics on the UST campus are low.

“While we have been fortunate not to have serious crime on our campus, given the climate of our country, we feel that this next step to transition toward a police department provides our community with another level of security,” McKinley said.

Tate is ready for the challenge.

“This goal will undoubtedly take some time, however, I’m deeply committed to make it happen,” Tate said.

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The University of St. Thomas is committed to the safety and security of all community members and visitors. The University received a $245,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create a comprehensive plan to develop, review, improve and fully integrate campus-based all-hazards emergency management and business continuity plans. The campus community should “Be Aware, Be Prepared and Take Action!”

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