San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 28th, 2009
UPD honored for supporting criminal justice majors


The Texas State University Police Department (UPD) was recognized by The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) for its efforts to support criminal justice majors.

Accepting the award on behalf on Texas State and UPD was Chief Ralph Meyers and Vice-President for Student Affairs, Dr. Joanne Smith.

UPD was honored for its intern-mentorship program, which was developed at Texas State in 2008, and since adopted by the HAPCOA National Board. Similar programs have also been established in Chicago and Los Angeles.

“This creates an honorary membership for a student majoring in criminal justice,” said Captain Paul Chapa, assistant director of UPD and vice-president of the Central Texas Chapter of HAPCOA. “He or she is given the opportunity to experience how a professional organization made up of primarily Hispanic commanders operate.”

Interns selected for the program participate in all in-house police training, including tactical and firearms instruction. Interns also attend the HAPCOA National Training Conference in the organizations expense. The opportunity to participate in monthly meetings with area police commanders is also available.

Candidates for the one-year internship program have to be criminal justice majors who possess at least a 3.0 GPA. They also must be in academic good standing, and with local and federal law enforcement agencies. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member and a one-page letter of interest is additionally required.

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