UTA Police chief aims to improve Texas law enforcement

UTA Police Chief Kim Lemaux outside the university police station May 1. Lemaux has been in the role of commissioner for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement for about half a year.

UTA Police chief Kim Lemaux, as a commissioner for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, is looking to bring quality training to law enforcement agencies across Texas.

Halfway through her first year as a commissioner, Lemaux is refamiliarizing herself with TCOLE and looking at the needs of organizations across the state, Lemaux said.

“It’s been interesting kind of seeing some of the changes that have taken place over the last 10 to 20 years,” Lemaux said.

Some of the biggest changes since she was last active with the organization include dispatchers being licensed, adding basic academy curriculum and mandating training, Lemaux said.

When TCOLE hosted its annual conference in Corpus Christi in October, Lemaux was able to hear from other agencies. She said it served as a reminder that not all agencies serve as large of a community as UTA or Arlington.

“We live in a large, metropolitian, urban area and we tend to look at the state as being big and very populated, and really the majority of law enforcement agencies serve small populations,” Lemaux said. “A lot of those agencies only have one or two employees or just a handful of employees.”

Their needs are much different than those of the medium to large agencies around the Metroplex as they don’t have the same opportunities for quality training, Lemaux said.

“That’s a big challenge for the state, getting training and getting good quality training out and available to everyone across the state,” Lemaux said.

Having access to the same training ensures the quality of law enforcement is the same across the board between officers, dispatchers, jailers and other roles across various agencies, Lemaux said.

The commission relies on the connections of various law enforcement agencies to help shape curriculum, and Lemaux will go through various town halls across the state to hear their concerns throughout 2018.

Toward the end of 2017, Lemaux also became president of the Texas Association of College and University Police Administration for 2018 and will serve on a committee for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators accreditation agency with assistant chief Jay Tillerson.

She doesn’t expect these responsibilities to interfere with department operations as UTA Police has strong leadership across the board, Lemaux said.

Lemaux hopes to use her positions as a way to network with other agencies and help implement the best practices for both UTA and across the state

“Training is always important no matter if you are at a large or small agency,” Arlington Police Lt. Cristopher Cook said.

Arlington Police Department supports making training more affordable and inclusive to smaller agencies, as it elevates the profession as a whole, Cook said.

The leadership positions Lemaux is in are a direct reflection of the quality at the university, including law enforcement, said John Hall, administration and campus operations vice president.

“Chief Lemaux is a very well-respected law enforcement professional, and is recognized as such by many agencies and associations across the state,” Hall said. “She is very passionate about what she does and spends countless hours serving UTA and our community.”

@KyleRCotton

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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