Remembering Chief David Carter

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April 22, 2022

UT Police Chief David Carter

University of Texas at Austin Assistant Vice President for Campus Security and Chief of Police David Carter died on April 22, 2022, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 64.

Chief Carter was sworn in as Chief of Police for the University Police Department (UTPD) in 2013 when he was soon promoted to the title of Assistant Vice President of Campus Security where he worked to enhance relationships on security matters with university community members, students, families and the City of Austin.

During his tenure at the university, Chief Carter worked to transform UTPD into a national model not only for university policing but also for municipal departments to follow. In 2019, Chief Carter broke away from the traditional mold of policing through a single, dedicated patrol division and re-structured UTPD to include three focused divisions known as Police Technical Specialty Groups, with separate but complementary missions. Chief Carter established a new intelligence-led policing strategy by hiring a full-time crime analyst to represent the university in the Austin Regional Intelligence Center—a center that Carter created while second in command at the Austin Police Department (APD). Chief Carter also aided in budget and policing proposal planning for the university’s Dell Seton Medical Center.

During his 38 years of law enforcement, Chief Carter earned awards of distinction including medals for valor, a Live-Saving medal for providing emergency intervention to a choking toddler, distinguished command, and meritorious service. For his assistance with military police, Carter was given the U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division “Order of the Spur”, Gold Combat Spurs Award.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Carter began his career in 1983 not too far from campus grounds in Bryan, Texas. In 1985, Carter joined APD. He would serve 28 years, retiring as Chief of Staff. While with APD, Carter led a staff of 2,300 employees and managed a $301 million-dollar annual budget. He initiated, developed, and implemented the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC), one of 78 nationally recognized fusion centers. He launched a revised data analytics process focusing on increasing effectiveness, efficiency, and crime reduction results. He oversaw the development of the city and regional security response for the 2012 Inaugural Formula One race. Carter held positions of hostage negotiator, SWAT officer, SWAT commander, homicide detective, and Internal Affairs investigator.