Badge of Distinction:  Police Chief of the Year

UT Dallas Department Leader Recognized by University System

Oct. 27, 2011

UT Dallas Police Chief Larry Zacharias believes the right attitude, a willingness to work with the community, accessibility and a service mindset are key ingredients in the making of a good university police chief.

UT System Director of Police Michael J. Heidingsfield sees those qualities in Zacharias and more. Heidingsfield presented Zacharias with one of two inaugural Chief of Police of the Year awards during the recent, annual systemwide police chiefs’ meeting. Chief Tom Engells of UT Medical Branch-Galveston, also was honored.

Heidingsfield praised Zacharias as a “voice of mature, successful leadership in the law enforcement world” and an ardent advocate for his department.

“It’s a personal honor to be awarded, but I think it has implications for the UT Dallas Police department as well. It means we’ve successfully tackled challenges and improved as a service organization.”

Chief Larry Zacharias

“It’s a personal honor to be awarded, but I think it has implications for the UT Dallas Police Department as well,” Zacharias said. “It means we’ve successfully tackled challenges and improved as a service organization.”

During his tenure, Zacharias has increased the department’s size to keep pace with student enrollment gains. Staff duties have been redistributed to increase officer and guard visibility on campus. Civilians now handle support functions, including special event arrangements and website maintenance.

UT Dallas has struck recent agreements with the city of Richardson to share police radio and electronic records management systems, saving the University approximately $1 million while it complies with FCC requirements.

“Chief Zacharias’ leadership, knowledge of policing and commitment to a service-oriented approach were key qualities that led to him becoming part of the UT Dallas team,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, senior vice president for business affairs. “During his tenure, he has brought stability to the department, created a highly responsive service and education focus, hired excellent professionals into the department and positioned the UT Dallas Police for the anticipated growth of the campus.”

Zacharias joined the University as police chief in fall 2009. He had served 31 years previously with the Richardson Police Department in a career that included steady promotions that led to his appointment as chief in 2002.

“Because of my career with the city, I was well aware of the University’s prominent place in the community,” Zacharias said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to serve as the UT Dallas police chief and play a small role in the University’s future.”

Media Contact: Karah Womack, UT Dallas, (972) 883-5890, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
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Larry Zacharias

Chief Larry Zacharias has led the UT Dallas Police Department since 2009. He was previously chief of the Richardson Police.


Career Highlights

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
• 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

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June 24, 2018