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2011 Award for Administrative Excellence

2011 Award for Administrative Excellence

Paul J. Chapa, Chief of Police, Trinity University

Paul J. Chapa, Chief of Police, Trinity UniversityChief Chapa arrived at Trinity in July 2009 and has made a tremendous impact in generating a rebirth of the department in short order. Prior to Chief Chapa's arrival the department suffered from old traditions and lack of growth. Upon Chief Chapa's arrival he immediately began an assessment of the organization and identified its strengths and areas of growth. With his findings in hand, he immediately engaged the department by identifying a department goal, "To Create a Safe Community in Which to Work, Learn, and Live."

A recent article written on the police department in the school paper, "The Trinitonian," identified a comment by Mr. Craig McCoy, Vice President, who oversees the Police Department. He stated "The department runs better today than he has seen in all of his 30 years at Trinity."/p>

The following identifies Chief Chapa's impact on the department in the last 19 months.


  • Chief Chapa transformed the work environment by cleaning up the organization with a fresh coat of paint, a refreshing color of course. He changed the department into a learning environment rather than a "gotcha" environment. He changed the monthly Sergeants Meetings to "Leadership Development Sessions."
  • He changed the name of the organization from Department of Campus Security to University Police Department.
  • Chief Chapa has collaborated with other Police agencies in providing advanced law enforcement training at no cost to the department.
  • Chief Chapa has revised the hiring process to include an extensive background investigation, which did not exist before.
  • Prior to Chief Chapa's arrival the police department led the entire university in internal and external complaints. Now we have been recognized by university executives as very community oriented and supportive of other university divisions. Department moral has also increased tremendously.
  • Chief Chapa increased staff pay by five percent within the first 90 days in office. During his assessment period he clearly recognized the importance of a respectable salary.
  • He upgraded the reporting system to a web-based program allowing immediate access to reports 24/7. This initiative has also supported further improving our Clery reporting obligation.
  • Chief Chapa created a Sergeant Investigator position to address reporting and Clery compliance. Prior to the chief's arrival all criminal cases with the exception of major crimes were not thoroughly investigated or closed. By the creation of this position TUPD has cleared a number of cases and continues to further develop its responsibilities.
  • He created a Communications Supervisor position to manage the communications center and further develop emergency response protocols. During the development of the Communications Center he certified all dispatchers as State Certified Emergency Telecommunication Operators.
  • Upgraded police radio system to the 800 MHz system which provides interoperability with local police and sheriff's office, total cost $100,000. In addition he added several 52' inch monitors to help support the video monitoring system.
  • Chief Chapa applied and was selected to receive the CALEA Agency Support Fund (CASF) Grant to assist with the accreditation process for the department.
  • The Chief certified all non-sworn officers as State Certified Security Officers. This certification exposed them to classroom and tactical training.
  • He established Memorandum of Understanding with both the city of San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office to support the institution during critical situations on campus.


  • Prior to Chief Chapa's arrival little to no training was offered to the police officers. Within the last year Chief Chapa has certified several officers in Active Shooter Instructor Training, Crime Prevention, Police Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) and a number of other critical and vital training disciplines. In addition, all officers attend Krav Maga self defense training every eight weeks.
  • All police vehicles were in need of critical tools. Chief Chapa has outfitted the police units to now include AR-15's, ballistic shield, breaching tools, bullhorn, first aid kits, and an 800 MHz radio system for interoperability.
  • Body Cameras are now utilized by officers on patrol to assist with investigations and room searches.
  • Chief Chapa redesigned the graphics on the patrol vehicles to reflect a more progressive appearance and has changed the department motto, which now reads, "Proactive, Progressive, Professional".
  • Within the first six months of Chief Chapa's arrival, he facilitated an Active Shooter Table Top to include Residential Life, Dean of Students, Environmental Health and Safety and Physical Plant. The exercise was a tremendous success as it led to the purchase of the 800 MHz radio system in support of interoperability with city and county first responders.
  • Chief Chapa has created several Self Directed Work Teams (SDWT) to address a number of areas that had been neglected. The SDWT's that were created were the Training and Firearms Team, Community Awareness and Resource Team (CART), Department Policy Team, and the Bike Patrol Team. All teams are led by the officers themselves and managed by the Assistant Chief.
  • Chief has established and developed a "Special Event Security Plan" which is created for all major events on campus and includes all ICS forms and crisis management plans.

Community Outreach

  • Chief Chapa has worked towards marketing the department at greater levels by placing ads in the school newspaper identifying the many services of the department offers such as our new and improved safety escort program and other crime prevention initiatives.
  • Chief Chapa has identified "Student Appreciation Day's" by having the officers pass out popcorn in between classes utilizing the departments newly purchased popcorn machine.
  • Chief has participated in a number of Town Hall meetings and parent programs to answers those critical questions about what we exactly do to protect our students and community.
  • Chief Chapa has coordinated and sponsored a number of training seminars with the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety, San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff's Office and other agencies. Due to his efforts we have offered free training on the topics of School Shooting Response, Fraud Investigations, Violent Crime and Serial Investigations and FBI Law Enforcement Online. The Trinity University Police Department has reached and trained over 750 officers at no cost.

An additional accomplishment is that Chief Chapa obtained his Master of Organizational Leadership Degree from Texas State University, just six months after accepting the position at Trinity.

Nominated by Peter G. Perez, Assistant Chnief of Police, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.

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