The search is over: David Carter is the new chief of police for UTPD


Joshua Guerra

Austin Police Department Assistant Chief of Police, David Carter, talks about why he deserves to be the next UTPD Chief of Police.

Alberto Long

Following a extensive nationwide search for a new chief of police which saw close to 75 applicants, David Carter has been appointed as the new chief of police for UTPD. 

Carter, who serves as assistant chief at the Austin Police Department, will begin his appointment on July 1. Carter will replace UTPD Chief Robert Dahlstrom, who is retiring at the end of the month after a five-year stint as chief and 36 years in law enforcement. 

Officials are confident Carter's experience, confidence and open personality will help pick up where Chief Dahlstrom left off. 

“We were in a very fortunate situation where we had four extremely qualified finalists,” said Michael Lauderdale, social work professor and chairman of the search committee, in a statement. “Chief Carter’s high level of technical and professional experience along with his knowledge of the university and its unique needs ultimately led us to this recommendation."

At a public forum last month, Carter said he will focus on creating a strong relationship between APD and UTPD so they can accomplish their two main goals — keeping the community safe and creating a community-wide perception of safety.

“Clearly there’s differences between the campus police department and the city police department, but their roles are very similar,” Carter said at the forum.

Carter said he will try to ensure police are perceived on campus as outstanding and to build trust between the community and police officers. Carter said he also plans to reach out to campus organizations.

“A challenge will be how best to approach and address those organizations, some that may want to hear from the police and some that may not want to hear from the police,” Carter said at the forum.

As part of the selection process, Carter met with President William Powers Jr. on Tuesday morning to finalize his position. 

Carter is a seasoned police officer, starting his career with APD in 1985. He advanced positions, eventually becoming chief of staff. 

Among Carter's accolades are several medals for law enforcement excelence and combat spurs awarded by the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division for engaging enemy insurgents in Iraq. 

Patricia Clubb, vice president for University Operations, said Carter's vision will help move the department into the future. 

"Chief Carter’s vision for UTPD aligns well with the future UT-Austin,” Clubb said in a statement. “His professional accomplishments and existing relations with public safety agencies give us a great deal of confidence in his ability to meet the challenges we face as a growing institution.”

Additional reporting by Allie Kolechta.