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Remembering UTPD Chief of Police David Carter

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David Carter

AUSTIN, Texas – David Carter, vice president for campus security and chief of police, has died after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 64.

Carter was sworn in as chief of police for the University Police Department (UTPD) in 2013. He was soon promoted to assistant vice president of campus security and worked to enhance relationships on security matters with university community members, students, families and the City of Austin.

“It saddens me deeply that we lost such an integral part of our university community,” said President Jay Hartzell. “Chief Carter not only understood the impact of policing, he also embraced the role of our force in protecting and supporting our students and the university community. My deep-felt condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues who all share in this great loss of an outstanding leader.”

During his tenure at the university, Carter worked to transform UTPD into a national model not only for university policing but also for municipal departments to follow. In 2019, Carter broke away from the traditional mold of policing through a single, dedicated patrol division and restructured UTPD to include three focused divisions known as Police Technical Specialty Groups, with separate but complementary missions. 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). He also aided in budget and policing proposal planning for the university’s Dell Seton Medical Center.

“Chief Carter was instrumental in creating a safe and secure environment for the entire university community and our many visitors through his innovative approach to policing,” said Senior Vice President and CFO Darrell Bazzell. “His integrity, leadership and dedication to the university will be greatly missed.”

During his 38 years of law enforcement, 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 Cavalry Division “Order of the Spur” Gold Combat Spurs Award.

“UTPD has not only lost a decorated leader, we have lost a member of our family,” said UTPD acting Chief Don Verett. “Chief Carter was admired and respected by all of the law enforcement professionals who were fortunate to work under his leadership and instruction. His body of work and reputation continue to be an inspiration to UTPD, and we will continue to look to Chief Carter as an example to live up to.”

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 annual budget. He initiated, developed and implemented the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, 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.