About UTPD

Department Photo

Founded in 1968, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department (UTPD) continues to uphold its mission to serve and protect. The department has the same authority and responsibilities as most municipal police organizations and has challenges unique to a large, nationally recognized university community.

UTPD employs more than 178 dedicated individuals interested in making a positive difference on campus. In keeping with its community-oriented policing philosophy, the department regularly partners with faculty members, staff members and students on crime prevention and law enforcement programs. UTPD is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Meet the Chief 

In April 2018, David Carter was named Assistant Vice President for Campus Security and Chief of Police as he continues his leadership responsibilities for law enforcement at The University of Texas at Austin. This appointment follows a five-year tenure as the Chief of Police for the UT Police Department (UTPD) that includes a 170-member staff and presiding over the UT System’s flagship campus of more than 51,000 students, 23,000 faculty and staff, 18 colleges and schools on a 350-acre campus.

Previously, his career in law enforcement included serving as the first Assistant Chief for the Austin Police Department (APD) where he was responsible for all daily operations, including the oversight of more than 2,300 employees. Prior to his role as APD’s Assistant Chief, Carter was among the department’s most decorated officers having earned many distinguished awards, including the APD’s Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, Distinguished Command Medal, Life Saving Medal, and three Meritorious Service Medals.

Read more about Chief David Carter here.


UTPD is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The department has been accredited since July of 2007. The department has completed the re-accreditation process 3 times since 2007. In April 2016, the department chose to seek reaccreditation using the Gold Standard Assessment. In July 2016, the department was one of twenty-one departments that received Accreditation with Excellence.

Being accredited benefits the department and The University because standards are based on best practices in policing. CALEA reviews the department annually to verify the department meets existing standards, and new standards that are drafted by the Standards Review and Interpretation Commitee of CALEA to ensure that policing practices grow and evolve to reflect 21st Century policing. Every four years CALEA completes an on-site inspection and review.

CALEA was established as an independent accreditation authority in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association, and Police Executive Research Forum. The program is voluntary, and we are proud to be among the 700 plus elite law enforcement agencies in the United States that are CALEA accredited.