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For information about the UTMB Police web site, please contact Sgt. A. DeRanieri

Although we continue to grieve the sudden loss of UTMB Police Chief Tom Engells last week, I wanted to let the entire university community know that Ruben Puente, assistant director of the UT System Police Department, has been appointed interim chief of police for UTMB, effective today, Jan. 30.

Interim Chief Puente brings a wealth of experience in municipal and university law enforcement, and in corporate security. He is highly regarded for his ability to identify and address operational vulnerabilities, reduce risk to organizations, mitigate the threat of workplace violence, prosecute internal fraud and implement strategic security technologies.

During his career, Interim Chief Puente has served in the Arlington, Texas, Police Department and held a command position with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police. As senior manager of corporate security with Frito Lay North America, he oversaw security operations for 52,000 employees in 18 regional offices, 10 manufacturing plants and 200 distribution centers throughout the U.S. He also oversaw corporate security operations for Major League Baseball, including planning sporting event security throughout North America and in numerous international venues. He joined the UT System Police Department in 2012.

A graduate of the 210th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., Interim Chief Puente earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and a master’s degree in professional development from Dallas Baptist University. He completed advanced graduate studies in dispute resolution at SMU. He also is a graduate of several law enforcement executive programs. Interim Chief Puente serves on the advisory board for the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration in Plano, Texas, and is an experienced Certified Fraud Examiner.

Looking ahead, we will work with UT System Director of Police Mike Heidingsfield and his staff, Interim Chief Puente and the UTMB Police Department to initiate the process for hiring a permanent chief of police for the institution. We will keep the university community updated on our progress in the search.

In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Interim Chief Puente to the UTMB community and in supporting our entire police department in its continuing work to ensure our university remains a safe and secure environment in which to work, study and seek care.

Thank you.
Dr. David L. Callender
UTMB Health


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