Chief Michael Ragan of the University Police Department at Texas A&M University is getting some big time recognition.
He earned the 2018 Bill G. Daniels Outstanding Administrator Award from the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators.
The award recognizes best practices in leadership, management and administration of a university law enforcement agency.
Chief Michael Ragan of the University Police Department at Texas A&M University earned the 2018 Bill G. Daniels Outstanding Administrator Award from the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators (TACUPA). The award recognizes best practices in leadership, management and administration of a university law enforcement agency.
“I’m a former student, so I truly enjoy serving Texas A&M as a staff member and an ambassador, and I think our student body is the best in the country,” Ragan said. “A lot of our officers are former students, and I’m blessed to work with such a dedicated group of people.”
Ragan served the Texas A&M University Police Department for 33 years before becoming chief of university police in 2013.
“We believe Chief Ragan is a credit to the Texas A&M University Police Department and to our profession,” said Chief H.E. Jenkins, TACUPA Membership and Nominations Committee chairperson who leads law enforcement at St. Thomas University in Houston. “With the environment we have today at universities, it is important to have a chief of police who has integrity and is knowledgeable, dedicated and willing to put in the extra effort — and I believe the Texas A&M UPD has that person in Chief Ragan.”
Earning and maintaining accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is one of the accomplishments that makes Ragan proudest. Only 5 percent of law enforcement agencies, including university, city, county and state departments, are accredited.
The process is voluntary and requires the department to adhere to strict standards, including openness and transparency, thorough investigation of complaints, and monthly reports on all the UPD divisions. Every three years, auditors conduct on-site visits, review reports, host public meetings and talk to employees and other stakeholders to renew the accreditation.
Jenkins noted several key reasons the nominations committee selected Chief Ragan for the award, including:
• Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in late 2014 as well as the first reaccreditation in 2017.
• Recognition as the Outstanding Crime Prevention Manager for four consecutive years, 2013-2016, by the Texas Crime Prevention Association.
• Growth of the department in size and scope by adding officers, explosive K9 officers and implementing Mobile Field Force Training in conjunction with local municipal law enforcement agencies.
• Establishment of the “bait bike” program that has produced dramatic results in reducing bicycle thefts on campus.
• The UPD Twitter account, with Chief Ragan’s attention, has become the most highly followed Twitter account for a university police department in the nation.
“As Texas A&M has grown, it has become more like a city, so we have to recruit educated officers of the same caliber as city and county departments,” Ragan said. “We have one of the largest football stadiums in the country, a presidential library, an airport, hotels, restaurants and stores, and we deal with highly educated people, first amendment rights, the Clery Act and mental health issues, so law enforcement calls are much like those received by city officers.”
Ragan accepted the award during a ceremony at the annual TACUPA Conference in San Antonio earlier this month. The association represents police chiefs at universities, small and large, throughout the state, so members, including police chiefs from the UT System, SMU, Baylor, TCU, St. Thomas University and Trinity, are able to network and create mutually beneficial alliances.
Ragan has served as president and immediate past president on the TACUPA board of directors. Currently, he serves as a board member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
“It’s an honor to receive this award because of the length of time, 54 years, the organization has been in existence, and the man, Bill Daniels, for whom the award is named — a founding TACUPA member and the police chief at Texas Tech for 28 years,” Ragan said.