UTMB police officers are wearing new uniforms as police departments at the University of Texas System’s 15 campuses adopt new standardized apparel.
Light blue shirts are gone at UTMB, replaced by redesigned shirts and pants in midnight navy blue, often called “LAPD blue.” The uniforms cost less than the old ones, have more pockets, and the arm patch says “University of Texas System Police.”
“This is a good move. The uniform is very functional,” said Officer Michael Riedel, a patrolman. He said he especially likes the breakaway document pocket in the shirt.
The uniform change took place at UTMB in May. In December 2011, Michael Heidingsfield, director of police for the UT System, announced the decision. His office and the campus police departments had tested uniforms from several vendors before reaching a decision.
“These bold new uniforms will also feature hash marks to reflect your length of service in law enforcement,” Heidingsfield told officers in an article in the Texas System Police Association newsletter in 2011. “The patch reflects our being one University of Texas System Police agency and your statutory standing as ‘State of Texas Peace Officer.’”
The change affects commissioned officers only, not guards, who wear white shirts. There is no plan to change the appearance of patrol cars. Police departments in the UT System are expected to complete the changeover by 2014.
In other police news, the department:
- Recognized Officer Carlton P. Scott as its 50 Club of Galveston County “Officer of the Year.” Scott, a 20-year veteran of the department, was honored with a plaque May 14 at the Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston along with 14 other members of Galveston County law enforcement agencies who were selected by their departments. UTMB Police praised Scott’s patrol skills and investigative abilities, and cited a case from June 2011 in which he caught and arrested a suspect on campus who was charged with the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of copper wire.
- Moved to its new headquarters in the Rebecca Sealy Building and held an open house May 16 as part of National Police Week in May. The new headquarters is on the second floor at the east end of the building. The headquarters provides expanded office space, including a line-up room for briefings and training, modernized facilities for evidence storage, and a detention room for prisoners.