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Spotlight on UT Police: Supervisor of the Year Robert Latiff

March 29, 2024
Sherneka Cagle

Spotlight on UT Police: Supervisor of the Year Robert Latiff

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. Meet the 2023 Supervisor of the Year, Robert “Tito” Latiff.

 

Tell us about your career with UT Police.

I moved to Houston from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1989to pursue a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Houston. After many years conducting photography focused on weddings, portraits, and commercial work, I decided to change careers.

I began my career in law enforcement working as a correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I joined UT Police at Houston as a Guard (a position now referred to as Public Safety Officer) in 2008 as the Class Valedictorian and began my new career. After 6 months, a temporary position in dispatch (now known as the Risk Operations Center) opened up and I jumped at the opportunity to broaden my horizons and gain a larger perspective of what we do. Before long, I had a permanent position in the Risk Operations Center. I’ve since been promoted from telecommunicator to senior telecommunicator, to lead telecommunicator, and in September 2018 to supervisor. In April, I will celebrate my 16-year UT Police work anniversary.

 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is the sense of family and teamwork.  - My teammates and work partners feel like family. We work together to resolve issues and provide great service to our community..

 

What makes working at UT Police enjoyable?

UT Police aligns with my core values. Our division offers abundant opportunities to attend specialized training which allows me to build confidence, minimize potential liability, and increase my ability to perform at a high level. Our leaders provide feedback as well as recognize positive performance through shift briefings, department meetings, public presentations, commendations, and rewards.  UT Police is truly special. It establishes high, but reasonable and fair standards. I look forward to a long, enjoyable, and rewarding career with UT Police.

 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in emergency services?

A few tips I would give them are when working in emergency services, don’t forget to use your team. Here at UT Police, you are never alone. There is always someone nearby to assist with difficult or critical calls. A job as a telecommunicator is stressful, but it is important to keep your composure. Remaining calm and in control and practicing proper breathing are imperative for this type of work. Working in emergency services requires compassion and empathy for the callers. Callers view their issue as an emergency, and it is our job to remain courteous and show empathy to them. Lastly, take advantage of all training – mandatory and volunteer – to enhance your knowledge and to set you up for success in the role.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family. That is the most important thing to me. I also enjoy being in and around any body of water, whether it is the beach, a lake, or a river, so I can go swimming and fishing.

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