UPD Exemplifies Readiness, Compassion & Quick Action

For UPD, fostering safety means taking on any challenge that impacts the Bobcat community. 

By Dey Romo Rossell
Feb. 22, 2021

Texas State University Police Officers began preparing for the forecast of extreme weather on an unforgettable Valentine's Day 2021. During the week, the UPD team demonstrated heartfelt care and commitment to the safety of the Bobcat community. As the weather deteriorated and students, faculty and staff hunkered down to stay safe from the elements, UPD went to work to provide assistance and rescues at the university. 

"The team checked on students in the residence halls and worked with facilities to minimize damage. They also rescued stranded motorists," said Laurie Espinoza Clouse, UPD Chief of Police. 

"We know the community relies on us to come through when times are tough, and our officers exhibited their skill in managing any situation and keeping calm under pressure," she added. 

With roads undriveable, officers and dispatchers slept on futons, air mattresses and cots in the UPD building to make sure they were available for their next shift. Dispatchers used their personal cell phones to create a lifeline for the community.

"It was the coldest weather I have ever experienced in Texas," said Lt. James Dixon, Interim Captain, who shoveled snow to make the sidewalks accessible to the university community. 

"I am so grateful to my fellow officers, who all quickly took action to make the campus as safe as possible and also responded to calls for help," he added.

UPD worked with several divisions and departments throughout campus to  find resources to support students who requested assistance with food, water and heat. 

"Regardless of weather, we pulled together to make sure we kept this community safe and especially, kept the students safe to the best of our ability. I appreciate all the work by the UPD team to get us through the week," said Sgt. Rodrigo Manzanares, Interim Lieutenant. 

Officer Cody Guerrero, an Army Veteran, responded to the call for service during the storm without hesitation, despite having to travel icy roads. 

"Officer Guerrero showed up to work even after being advised by his supervisors that he should remain at home until the road conditions improved.  He was also ready to heed the call from the Texas Army National Guard to mobilize in service to fellow Texans affected by the winter storm," said Manzanares. 

UPD responded to nearly 200 calls over a six-day period. 

Dispatcher fielding calls during winter storm.

UPD dispatcher Jennifer Paterson fields calls and messages during the winter storm.

Lt. James Dixon Shoveling Snow

Lt. James Dixon shovels snow in front of residence halls at Texas State in the wake of the winter storm that hit Texas.

Officer dropping sand on walkways

Officer Tad Palmer drops salt on walkways as ice begins to fall on campus.

Officers Responding to calls in the snow

UPD officers Ray McKinney and Tad Palmer assist a stranded motorist on campus during the winter storm.