Pacesetter 2022 winners

UTMB Police win UT System Pacesetter honor

The UTMB Police Department won the honor of UT System Pacesetter Police Department of the Year for 2022.

The UT Director of Police Michael Heidingsfield presented the award to UTMB Police Chief Ken Adcox at the University of Texas System police chiefs’ annual conference in September in Austin.

The Pacesetter Award goes to the police department within the University of Texas System that demonstrated a strong and professional commitment to public safety and contemporary policing over the past year and sets an example for other institution police departments to follow.

UTMB met the criteria for the award because its police department implemented many initiatives that demonstrate its commitment to the safety and security of the UTMB community, and it provides inspiration and examples for other departments to replicate, officials said. 

Of the 14 UT System police departments in Texas, only one is selected as the Pacesetter Police Department of the Year. The agency selected receives a plaque and $2,500.  

UT Chancellor James Milliken congratulated Chief Adcox, who accepted the award.

“We are honored to be recognized in this way by the UT System,” Adcox said. “The men and women that make up our UTMB Police Department are hardworking and dedicated, some of the finest law enforcement and security professionals I’ve ever worked with. The police department could also not make near the impact it does without strong support from our larger UTMB family and leadership team. I am so proud to be to part of our UTMB family and to be able to accept the Pacesetter award on their behalf.

With about 140 employees—including commissioned state police officers, uniformed guards, emergency services telecommunicators, technical operations engineers, locksmiths and other professional support staff—the UTMB Police Department focuses on professional policing and providing a safe and secure environment at each of UTMB’s four major campuses. Special challenges include providing advanced security for the Galveston National Lab and covering UTMB facilities that are spread across many different counties and jurisdictions.   

Every officer in the UTMB Police Department is a certified Mental Health Peace Officer through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and is Active Shooter Response certified. Additionally, every UTMB police officer receives quarterly supplemental training on active shooter incident response, including tactical weapons and response strategies, tactical first aide, timed bunker drills and breaching training. The department also maintains an access control system, gun-shot detection program and thousands of CCTV cameras to protect UTMB’s ever-expanding teaching, research and healthcare footprint.