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Veteran APD Leader to Head UT Austin Police Department

Austin Police Department Assistant Chief David Carter accepted the position as chief of The University of Texas at Austin Police Department today.

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Austin Police Department Assistant Chief David Carter accepted the position as chief of The University of Texas at Austin Police Department today. Carter’s appointment begins July 1, 2013 and follows an extensive nationwide search by the university.

“We were in a very fortunate situation where we had four extremely qualified finalists,” said search committee chairperson Mike Lauderdale, a professor in the university’s School of Social Work. “Chief Carter’s high level of technical and professional experience along with his knowledge of the university and its unique needs ultimately led us to this recommendation.”

Pat Clubb, vice president for University Operations said she believes Carter has the enthusiasm and personal openness necessary to inspire the department as its officers transition to new leadership.

“Chief Carter’s vision for UTPD aligns well with the future UT Austin,” said Clubb. “His professional accomplishments and existing relations with public safety agencies give us a great deal of confidence in his ability to meet the challenges we face as a growing institution.”

Carter also met with UT Austin President Bill Powers this morning as part of the search to find a leader for the 130-member police force.


Carter began his career as a patrol officer with the Austin Police Department in 1985. He  advanced to positions with increasing responsibility including assistant chief and, later, chief of staff. His law enforcement career has included many specialized assignments and a range of unique professional experiences including senior leadership roles over patrol, major investigations, organized crime investigations, as well the Special Operations Division. Carter also helped develop the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, which serves Central Texas public safety organizations (including UT Austin) and garnered statewide recognition. Carter has overseen and directed public safety for numerous international events from South by Southwest to the 2012 opening of Circuit for the Americas.

One of the Austin Police Department’s most decorated officers, Carter has earned many distinguished awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, the Distinguished Command Medal, the Life Saving Medal, and three Meritorious Service Medals. The US Army 1st Cavalry Division also awarded Carter combat spurs in recognition of his being engaged by enemy insurgents in Iraq. Carter was there providing police leadership concepts training to the US Army.

He will replace Chief Robert Dahlstrom, who is retiring this year after seven years as chief and more than three decades in law enforcement.

David Carter, Bob Harkins (associate vice president for campus safety and security), and Mike Lauderdale (chairman of the search committee) will be available for media interview at 3 p.m. today at the University Police Building .