Top Ten

1. Are the University Police just security guards? No, the University has sixteen certified Texas Peace Officers who have full police powers. Three of the sixteen are in administration roles and one serves as criminal Investigator. We also have five security guards who have no police authority, and four police dispatchers. All are full time staff. The University Police Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year (even when the university is closed).

2. Why do we have to purchase a parking permit? Texas A&M University-Commerce Traffic Rules and Regulations require all individuals who wish to operate a motor vehicle on campus to purchase a parking permit. These permits are enforced 24 hours a day and may be purchased at the cashier’s office, one stop shop or on line. Visitors who have no affiliation with the university, may obtain one free of charge at the same location or on-line.

3. What should I do if I plan on hosting an event on campus? To make your event a success, please coordinate with the University Police no later than 10 working days prior to your event. (Large events may require much more of a notice) We are required to do assessments, if the assessment indicates a need for police personnel, that cost will be charged to the group or department hosting the event, these are done on all events that take place on campus, in order to assist in providing a safe environment. We will post the event and will refrain from no permit enforcement for the duration of your event. We will also be able to assist visitors with information and help them locate your event. If you require VIP parking arrangements or any other special requirements, we will do our best to accommodate you.

4. What should I do if I witness a crime, see something that looks strange, or someone needing medical attention on campus? Do not delay; time is usually critical in most cases. If you feel it is a true emergency and you are on a campus phone, call 911; it will connect you to the University Police. Be prepared to provide the information to the dispatcher, who will in turn dispatch a police officer. If it is not an emergency, call the non-emergency number with details, an officer will be dispatched to check out the situation and deal with it accordingly. We currently have blue light emergency phones that you may also use to report an emergency situation. They function just like making a 911 call. Once activated by the push of a button, you are in direct contact with the police dispatcher. They are located all across campus. Remember, we are all stakeholders in keeping our campus safe. Emergency On campus phone dial 911 Non-Emergency On campus phone dial 5868 Emergency Cell phone dial 911 Non-Emergency Off campus phone or cell phone 903-886-5868 *Note: Please program these numbers into your cell in case you are in need of the campus police. If you are off campus, just dial 911.

5. How will I know about emergency situations on campus? The Pride Alert Warning System (PAWS) is a mass notification system that students, faculty and staff can sign up for at no charge. PAWS is capable of voice, email, text messaging and campus computer popup delivery of emergency messages. In the unlikely event of a campus emergency, all participants in PAWS will receive direct notification of the situation, along with instructions. Signup for students is done through the MyLeo portal. You will select “Options”, then “PAWS”. Students may also unsubscribe this way as well. For immediate removal of subscription, email paws@tamu-commerce.edu. Signup for staff is automatic, with information being drawn directly from HR Connect.

6. What other services does the University Police Department provide? We provide many services such as: unlocking locked vehicles, jump starting dead batteries, delivering emergency messages, welfare/safety checks, lost and found, notary public services, weather monitoring, money escorts, motor-pool reservations, crime prevention programs and much more.

7. How do I reserve a Motor Pool vehicle from the University Police Department? Call in advance of your trip and specify what type vehicle you require. Be sure that the person you want to drive the vehicle has been approved to drive. This is done with through transportation at the physical plant (coordinate this in advance of the trip). Provide the department name, account number and specified date/time of pick up, return date/time and destination of the trip. Provide in advance the name of all passengers, unless it is local transportation. Upon check out, be prepared to show a drivers license. Once the trip is complete all fleet vehicles must be returned to the back of Whitley Hall Parking lot. Keys and correct paper work must be turned in to University Police Department.

8. How can I allow special access to faculty, staff and students who need after hour access? The department head must send written authorization in advance to the University Police Department. All persons needing access must be listed by name and CWID. The access location must also be listed and time frame, that is approved, must be designated. Please advise that this access is for the faculty, staff or students. If they are not on the list, they will be asked to leave the building. The only access during a university closure is critical personnel that have been provided on letterhead by the department head or dean in advance. These authorizations are very limited.

9. Why do the police officers respond to medical emergencies? The University Police Department is the first responder to all emergency calls on campus. We have specialized training and carry defibrillators in all marked police cars. The Commerce Fire Department has trained medical staff who also respond, until an ambulance arrives.

10. Where does the University Police Department file cases? Depending on the infraction we have several options. All non-campus traffic citations are filed with the local Justice of the Peace (Jennifer Reeves). All criminal offenses are filed in the correct criminal court. Felony charges are sent to the District Attorney. Misdemeanor cases are sent to the County Attorney. Students who have criminal charges and student code of conduct violations are also referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs (Robert Dotson) for further academic action.

University Police Administrative Staff Contacts: http://www.tamuc.edu/upd/

Donna Spinato Chief of Police 903-886-5860

Bryan Vaughn Assistant Chief of Police 903-886-5865

Jason Bone Lt. Crime Information 903-886-5866

Kyle Lowe Sgt. Criminal Investigations 903-886-5873 Fax 903-886-5871