Established in 1890, the University of North Texas is one of the nation’s largest public universities with over 37,000 students and more than 5,000 faculty and staff. UNT is ranked among the nation’s 115 top-tier research universities by the Carnegie Classification. Located in Denton, Texas, the University plays a major role in this community, which was recently named one of the 10 best college towns in the nation.
The UNT Police Department serves as the principle provider of law enforcement services to the campus and regularly patrols the surrounding area as well. UNT’s 45 state certified police officers enforce all city, state, and federal laws, as well as university policies. The department has full law enforcement jurisdiction within the UNT campus, city of Denton, and any county where UNT maintains property. A nationally dual accredited agency, the UNT Police Department provides the professional law enforcement officer with unique challenges and opportunities on a dynamic and growing campus.
New officers will attend a local police academy, if unlicensed by the State of Texas. The academy is followed by an intense and demanding field training program, which is completed by all officers. Officers will receive additional training throughout their career. This training will include state required training, department mandated training, as well as specialized training for individual officers or units.
Police department employees work in one of three divisions; operations, investigations, or administration.
Officers begin their career in the operations division working on a patrol shift. The majority of officers in the department serve in the patrol division, making it the backbone of the department. Officers work on one of four shifts which are 12 hours in length and provides 24 hour coverage (2 day shifts and 2 night shifts). This schedule affords patrol officers with every other weekend off (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The shifts rotate between days and nights about every four months.
Patrol officers provide law enforcement services to the main campus and surrounding area, UNT Discovery Park, remote university offices, and UNT property throughout the Denton area. These services include, but are not limited to, responding to calls for service, apprehending criminal suspects, writing reports, conducting traffic enforcement, completing preliminary investigations, as well as other pro-active law enforcement services. Officers patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles, on foot, bicycle, and ATV.
Last year, the patrol division handled over 24,000 service calls and completed over 2,000 reports.
An important part of the patrol division are the field training officers (FTOs). Made up of seasoned officers, our FTOs play a vital role in developing new officers by training these officers in the field.
The operations division is also responsible for coordinating and scheduling officers for special events, and provides a representative for the university event safety committee. Officers can sign up to work these events for overtime compensation. Special events include athletic events, university graduations, high school graduations, campus sponsored events, and private parties held on campus. Last year, officers worked over 400 special events held on campus.
The investigations division is made up of detectives who investigate crimes reported to the police department, and civilian support staff who maintain police records, evidence and property. Detectives receive specialized training to investigate a wide variety of offenses including: burglary, robbery, assault, sexual offenses, and death investigations. Detectives may work to recover stolen property, conduct forensic examination of a crime scene, obtain and serve search and arrest warrants, and prepare cases to file with the district attorney’s office. Detectives also conduct detailed interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects.
The cases worked by our detectives take them to locations not only on campus, but also throughout the city of Denton, the DFW metroplex and anywhere an investigation may lead them.
A specialized function of the investigations division is narcotics enforcement. A detective that specializes in narcotic investigations works to identify and arrest those who deal narcotics on or near the UNT campus. Narcotic detectives often work closely with other jurisdictions including local, state and federal law enforcement officers.
Last year, the division investigated over 400 cases, and prepared or presented over 500 cases for prosecution with the Denton County District Attorney’s office.
The administration division is made up of officers and civilians who work in law enforcement accreditation, training, community relations and police communications. A civilian accreditation manager overseas department policy and makes sure the agency complies with standards set forth by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. (IACLEA).
The training unit overseas all department training and maintains each officers’ training file. The training unit works with outside agency instructors, as well as department members who are law enforcement instructors. Experienced officers may choose to become a law enforcement instructor and teach law enforcement classes for the department and outside agencies. Continuous training throughout an officer’s career can include classroom instruction, firearms training as well as scenario based training.
The community relations unit is made up of officers who specialize in working with our community to promote safety and better understanding between the community and police department. They work with community members and groups on campus, and provide public presentations for the campus community. These presentations are conducted for community groups, students, faculty and staff. Last year, the community relations unit made over 100 presentations to the campus community.
The police department houses a fully functional communications center with state-of-the-art radio and computer equipment. Communications Officers receive emergency and non-emergency phone calls, dispatch officers via radio and monitor their activity, and monitors the fire and burglar alarm systems for the entire campus. The communications center is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The communications unit is staffed by a supervisor and eight communications officers.
|Officers make up the majority of the police department and can be found on patrol shifts, working as detectives in the criminal investigations division, and staffing the community relations unit. While the officer rank is not considered a supervisor, because of the nature of police work, officers have a great deal of responsibility and discretion.|
|Corporals can be assigned to any division within the police department. On a patrol shift, corporals serve similar roles to patrol officers, but may take on a higher level of responsibility. Corporals also serve as field training officers, patrolling with and training new officers. Other areas of the department corporals can be assigned to include the criminal investigations division, community relations unit, and administrative support.|
|Sergeants are first line supervisors in the department. On patrol, sergeants lead a shift of officers and may be the highest ranking member of the department on duty. Sergeants are also found supervising detectives in the criminal investigations division and leading the department’s training unit as Training Coordinator.|
|Lieutenants are command staff level officers in the department. In the operations division, a lieutenant serves as either the day shift or night shift watch commander and supervises two patrol shifts and their respective sergeants. A lieutenant may also serve as a supervisor in the criminal investigations division or in an administrative supervisory role.|
|Captains are executive command staff level officers in the department and report directly to the Chief of Police. Captains lead one of three divisions; operations, investigations, or administration. Captains are not only responsible for the supervision of their division, but also work on budgeting, long term planning, and special event coordination.|
|The Chief of Police is responsible for overall command of the police department and its nearly 70 employees. The Chief directly supervises the captains, business manager and his executive assistant.|