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August 15, 2007

SMU Announces New Police Chief

Richard A. Shafer
(click image for larger version)

SMU has named Richard A. Shafer, a veteran university police officer and former military police chief in the Middle East and Europe, as the University’s top police officer. Shafer had served as SMU’s acting police chief since March. Since that time, he has focused on updating departmental policies and creating an enhanced campus emergency preparedness unit.

“Rick Shafer’s professionalism and sustained excellent performance make him an ideal choice for this critical leadership position,” said Bill Detwiler, associate vice president for business services at SMU. “In this post 9-11 world, it is comforting to know we have a chief with Rick’s extensive experience and ability to work effectively with all levels of law enforcement.”

Shafer brings more than 13 years of university police leadership experience to his new position, including at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and at SMU, where he has been since 1999. He served for 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, achieving the rank of major.

At SMU, where he also served as acting chief during the fall of 2005, he has increased requirements for training, designed a new recruitment and retention initiative, sought accreditation in the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement and Administration (IACLEA) and partnered with neighboring police jurisdictions on numerous police investigations.

“We are proud to appoint Rick to this important role,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Campus security is vital to our academic mission and supportive campus environment. We have every confidence in Chief Shafer’s ability to lead as our chief of police.”

Shafer is a graduate of the University of Texas System Police Academy, the Leadership Command College, Master Peace Officer Certification, Officer Training School and the U.S. Air Force Police Academy, where he held top-secret security clearance. He earned an A.A.S. degree in police science from Beauford County Community College and a B.S. degree in criminology from St. Leo College in Florida. He lives with his wife, Mary, in Duncanville.

“The SMU Police Department is here for the SMU community 24-7,” Shafer said. “I look forward to serving our students, faculty and staff as we join with other police departments in our area to keep our campus secure.”

Shafer replaces Mike Snellgrove, who resigned in March.

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