James Selected for TACUPA Award for Excellence

January 28, 2022 By: Carla Hulsey Pate

The University of Texas Police at Houston (UT Police) is proud to announce that Police Officer Devante James was selected by the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators (TACUPA) as the recipient of the Larry W. Fultz Memorial Award for Excellence.

“Officer James is a shining example of values-based policing and contributes to the overall success of our health care and campus security team,” said Police Captain Doran Preacher. “His approach to each case is compassionate and intentional.”

Preacher nominated James for his response in three separate life-saving incidents.

In March 2021, James assisted at the scene of a multiple vehicle accident. A driver was unresponsive and locked inside his vehicle. With the car running and medical responders standing by, James ensured that those nearby were standing at a safe distance and used his expandable baton to break the front passenger seat window. The medical team could now access and assess the driver who was having difficulty breathing. 

In a second incident later that month, James also was a responding officer to a disturbance call at a psychiatric treatment area where a preteen was violently acting out in the waiting room. A juvenile had tried to break a window, tried to assault people, and injured a public safety officer. 

When James arrived, he found a juvenile lying on the floor of the lobby with family, security and psychiatric staff trying to assist. James quickly gained some compliance from the boy by showing patience and compassion. The juvenile became calmer and more compliant, to the point that James purchased a soda and a bag of chips to further build trust. 

In a third incident in August 2021, James responded to an attempted suicide where he assisted in saving an individual by administering CPR until the individual was responsive.

 “It is because of Officer James’ quick thinking and response that he saved the individual from a suicide attempt,” said Preacher. “Officer James has made a profound difference within UT Police, he embodies our core values and keeps our mission at the forefront of his policing approach.”

In addition to the TACUPA Larry W. Fultz Memorial Award for Excellence, James has also been recognized by the Office of the Director of Police with two UT System Police Commendation medals for his role in the vehicle accident and mental health de-escalation incident.

James has been nominated for a UT System Life Saving medal for the life-saving intervention in the suicide attempt.

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