Merit Award Winner
The Award for Merit is presented to a campus officer who each day displays professionalism and excellence in performing his/her duties or whose actions and attitude bring credit to the campus law enforcement community.
2020 Merit Award Recipient
Dispatch Supervisor Michelle Garza, University of Texas Arlington Police Department
Upon joining the University of Texas Arlington Police Department in 2016, Michelle Garza brought 25 years of public safety communications experience to revamp and revitalize the police dispatch center, bringing it into compliance and establishing benchmark processes and procedures that have increased agency service delivery to the university. Here are a few of her achievements:
Revamped the telecommunicator training program by:
- Developing a training “team” to standardize training processes for new hires.
- Creating mandatory and regular dispatch and trainer meetings.
- Ensuring three top senior dispatchers obtained their “Master” telecommunicator status.
- Arranging for telecommunicators to attend training/conferences.
Obtained two new Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) terminals to ensure more timely returns and validations, and then:
- Ensured biannual training for 150 police and IT personnel with access to agency CJI.
- Created a team “validations” process for TLETS records.
- Successfully passed two CJIS audits and one state audit.
She brought the dispatch center into ADA compliance with TDD/TTY, including:
- Obtaining two free TDD/TTY machines (valued at $500 each)
- Establishing onset and monthly ADA required training.
She consistently assisted in Emergency Management processes by:
- Developing a monthly process for equipment testing and EOC inspections.
- Organizing and maintaining an operable EOC.
- Obtaining approval for four laptops to be maintained in dispatch/EOC in case of emergency.
- Obtaining Federal Outdoor Warning System and the indoor annunciator updates to ensure consistent performance during testing and use.
Because of Michelle’s persistent efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness, raise morale, and develop career advancement opportunities for telecommunicators in the University of Texas Arlington Police Department, Michelle Garza is presented with the IACLEA Award for Merit.
2020 - Communications & Emergency Services Operator, Biola University, Campus Safety Department
2019 - Investigations & Clery Compliance Manager, Veronica Baeza, Biola University, Department of Public Safety