System-wide police review begins

Lauren Buell

Following a year in which a third of the UT System’s undergraduate campus police chiefs departed under scrutiny, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa directed a panel of auditors, legal council and law enforcement officials to review operations at all UT campus police departments.
A brief Aug. 28 UT System release announcing the audit cited “several operational irregularities discovered during routine inspections by UT System law enforcement officials … over the past year.”
Operations include record keeping, accounting systems, reporting relationships and compliance with federal and state guidelines, said UT System spokesman Anthony DeBruyn.
UT Pan American chief Howard Miller was fired after a September 2008 investigation. Following UTD police chief Colleen Ridge’s May resignation, UT San Antonio police chief David Hernandez resigned amid sexual harassment allegations in July. The UT System is comprised of 14 institutions, nine of which provide undergraduate education.
DeBruyn said the review panel, headed by Vice Chancellor for Administration Tonya Moten Brown, is expected to be uniform across all System police departments, meaning audits will not focus on or omit departments that have recently been investigated.
Brown’s office directs the UT System Office of the Director of Police, which oversees campus police departments.
DeBruyn said one goal of the review is a set of best practices for police departments at UT System campuses, which vary widely in size and need, encompassing medical schools such as MD Anderson with fewer students and large patient populations, as well as undergraduate institutions more commonly associated with the System.
UT System Regents will review findings later this year.



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