The Final Four: UTPD announces police chief finalists

Alberto Long

In preparation for UTPD Chief of Police Robert Dahlstrom’s retirement in May, a committee in charge of overseeing the selection of UT’s next chief has narrowed their search to four final applicants. 

The committee, made up of numerous city, University and law enforcement officials, selected the finalists from a pool of 75 applicants. Each candidate is college-educated and has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, according to a UTPD press release. 

The finalists include Austin Police Department Assistant Chief of Police David Carter, Captain Melissa Zak of the Los Angeles Police Department, Miami University Chief of Police John McCandless and APD Assistant Chief of Police Raul Munguia. 

Carter has worked with APD for 29 years and has served as an assistant chief of police since 2007. Zak is a commanding officer with 21 years of experience who oversaw the Southwest region of Los Angeles. McCandless has 31 years of experience in law enforcement and has served as Miami University chief of police for nine years. Munguia has 26 years of experience and has served as an assistant chief of police for APD since 2010. 

Dahlstrom will end his seven-year stint as chief of police on a high note. In his time with UTPD, the department received accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement in 2007 and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement in 2008. Dahlstrom was voted police chief of the year by UT System directors in 2012 for exhibiting “leadership and quiet strength.” 

According to the press release, a series of two-hour public question-and-answer sessions with each finalist will be held throughout April. The candidates will take the public’s questions and discuss the future of UTPD. The sessions will be broadcast via a livestream provided by the University Office of the Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security

The first session will take place on April 5 at 1:30 p.m. The others are scheduled for April 9, 23 and 26.