History

Archival photograph of UT Police officer calling in to dispatch center

The University of Texas Police at Houston (UT Police) was established on December 8, 1967. It is the largest of fourteen component police departments that constitute UT System Police.

Prior to 1967, each of the UT System components utilized security personnel on campus. During this same period, student unrest with political issues begin to increase at all universities. In August of 1966, Charles Whitman, a student at UT Austin, gained access to the top of the UT Austin Main Building Tower with a number of high powered weapons. Whitman shot and killed 17 people and wounded 35 others. During this incident, the need for professional university police protection with emergency response capabilities became very clear.

Archival photograph showing a UT Police officer with a canine dog

In 1967, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 162 which authorized university campuses in Texas to hire and commission police officer personnel. The UT System Board of Regents went a step further and implemented the UT System Police to oversee the hiring, training and certification of police officer personnel at each of the UT System components. In 1968, the first UT System Police Academy was held to begin police officer staffing for 7 UT component Police Departments.

The UT System Police now consists of 15 component Police Departments throughout Texas offering police patrols, criminal investigations, emergency response capabilities, crime prevention programs, monitoring university security systems and a wealth of other community related services to ensure a safer environment.

Milestones

1941 MD Anderson is founded.
1967 UT System Police founded.
1968 C.E. Patton, first UTP-H police chief
1971 Ellis Means, second UTP-H police chief
1972 UTHealth is founded.
1974 UTP-H gets its second police car!
1977 Charles Price, third UTP-H police chief
1981 UTP-H moves into new headquarters building on Knight Road. The former location for the department was on the 17th floor of what is now known as ‘The Prairie’.
1994 UTP-H became first accredited police department of the UT System Police.
2010 William Adcox, fourth UTP-H police chief
2014 First multiyear strategic plan published
2015 UTP-H Threat Management Unit created
2015 UTP-H is awarded the IAHSSF Lindberg Bell Award for outstanding healthcare security.
2015 The first Strategy Map is published, focusing on strategic initiatives to enhance organizational tools and skillsets.
2016 UTP-H adds CPI Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training to our extensive list of preparedness- and prevention-oriented training classes.
2017 The second Strategy Map is published as a fully interactive PDF focusing on partnerships and strategic initiatives.
2018 UTP-H continues to develop a Threat Science philosophy of risk and harm reduction in the hospital/workplace.