UT Dallas Announces Hiring of New Chief of Police
Former Top Officer of Richardson Department Has Worked Often With University
Sept. 18, 2009
Larry Zacharias, the city of Richardson’s former police chief, has been named the new chief of police for The University of Texas at Dallas, effective Sept. 28.
Zacharias left the Richardson Police Department in 2008 after a 31-year career that included steady promotions leading to his appointment as chief in 2002. In that role, he was responsible for managing 250 employees, a $20 million annual budget and reporting on the department’s progress regularly to the Richardson city manager and City Council.
“Chief Zacharias is an accomplished, high-energy veteran police professional,” said Vice President for Business Affairs Calvin Jamison, to whom Zacharias will report. “This is a very exciting opportunity to add a service-minded, seasoned leader to our UT Dallas team of dedicated officers and staff.”
Zacharias says he decided to pursue the chief’s job because of the University’s outstanding reputation in the community.
“This is a great time to join UT Dallas. It’s no secret that the University is the epicenter for scientific advancement and economic growth in the region, and I want to contribute to this progress,” said Zacharias. “I look forward to working with the men and women of the University Police Department and with the entire University community.”
Zacharias will be joining a police department that he has worked with on many occasions already. As the nearest large municipal police force, City of Richardson police have participated in a mutual aid agreement with UT Dallas police. The two forces frequently conduct training together. Richardson police also have often assisted University police in investigations.
In 2008, the Texas Police Chiefs Association awarded Zacharias its Career Achievement Award. The Richardson Chamber of Commerce named him the 2008 Citizen of the Year. His many professional affiliations include service as the legislative director for the Texas Police Chiefs Association and as a board member for the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration and for the FBI’s North Texas Computer Forensics Laboratory.
Zacharias has a bachelor of science degree in law enforcement and police administration from Sam Houston State University. He is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy.
The search for a new chief began after former chief Colleen Ridge resigned in May. Jamison thanked the University’s search committee, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Darrelene Rachavong, for its successful efforts in conducting a national search, which resulted in more than 50 applicants. “I am also grateful to Acting Chief Mike Tacker, who came to us from the UT System, for his dedicated service,” Jamison said.
During the search and at the request of President David E. Daniel, The University of Texas System, which commissions the campus police forces for its 15 institutions, appointed UT System Assistant Director of Police Tacker to serve as the interim chief.
Tacker oversaw several notable improvements to the department, including hiring six new cadets, four of whom are attending the UT System Police Academy now; upgrading the evidence collection system; increasing campus patrols; upgrading equipment, and overseeing a move to a new facility, which tripled the size of the University police headquarters. Tacker was supported in his duties by Captain Jay Tillerson from The University of Texas at Arlington Police Department, as well as the officers and staff of the UT Dallas police department.
“We appreciate everything that Chief Tacker has accomplished over these last few months,” said President Daniel. “He has made a significant difference in the professionalism and resources of this department and worked diligently and tirelessly with our entire police department to keep our campus safe. I am very grateful for the dedicated service of Chief Tacker and all of our officers.”
As the city of Richardson's former top officer, Police Chief Larry Zacharias will be joining a police department that he has worked with on many occasions already.
2008 Career Achievement Award – Texas Police Chiefs Association
2008 Citizen of Year – Richardson Chamber of Commerce
Legislative Director – Texas Police Chiefs Association
Board member – Institute for Law Enforcement Administration
Board member – FBI’s North Texas Computer Forensics Laboratory
Bachelor's Degree in law enforcement and police administration – Sam Houston State University
Graduate – FBI’s National Academy