UT Police consists of police officers, public safety officers, telecommunicators, and civilian employees — all of whom contribute to the success of the division. This Spotlight on UT Police at Houston series provides more information about those who work hard to ensure safety on the campuses of UTHealth Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Meet the 2023 Civilian Employee of the Year, Alma Garza
Alma Garza has a wealth of knowledge of “all things UT Police,” according to her nominator Latonia Barnes.
Talk about your career with UT Police.
“My career with UT Police started almost 16 years ago in February 2008. I was hired as a senior administrative assistant to support then-director Ed Cavazos and manage departmental records. At that time, things that are standard now were either in very beginning stages, or only a futuristic thought — such as a records department, centralized records, and an electronic records management system.
In the latter part of 2009, I was offered the opportunity to focus on the building of an official records department and I ran with it. The first official Annual Security Report was published, and in November 2011 the future knocked —our first electronic records management system went live. Every day I strive to keep the well-oiled machine running through the hard work and dedication of each member of my team and the support of my superiors.”
What is the most challenging or rewarding part of your job?
“The most challenging aspect has been report writing and building trust with colleagues, so they understand that I am their No. 1 ally, teammate, and on their side. It has been an uphill battle, but slowly most are coming to the realization that we are working toward common goals.”
What makes working at UT Police enjoyable?
“What makes this job the most enjoyable is knowing that what I do matters. I was always told when you do something you love you will never work a day in your life. I do love what I do, maybe not every day, but I can say that I appreciate the challenges, and I look forward to getting back when I am away too long. The people I work with are great too. I have made some good friends during my career.”
What do you do in your free time?
“I enjoy spending it at home with my fur baby, Nugget, and binging whatever show catches my eye that day. I like to live vicariously through the detectives in the various Law and Order shows— my favorite.
I must admit though, I find shopping therapeutic. Going out to look for the perfect pair of shoes or a bag in the color of the season is always a top priority.”