Patrol officer Arnold Salazar has been with the university police department for over two years and helped develop the new design, he said as he turned the lights on the new patrol vehicle.
The university received two donated vehicles, a Chevy Tahoe from Dr. Terisa Riley and another from the Kingsville Police Department Task Force.
The new designs were needed to help the university police integrate into the community and identify TAMUK UPD as an actual police force, Salazar said.
“We wanted to have a more modern look, like Kingsville police department and other universities,” Salazar said.
The TAMUK police department is the primary source of police for the campus and surrounding area, Salazar said.
“We were the first responders to that bank robbery, so when you are dealing with serious situations like that you want to look professional and equal,” he said.
The new vehicles feature many different reflective graphics along the sides and on the back of the vehicles to help the vehicle be seen when police lights can’t be used, Salazar said.
The Tahoe will be more of a help to the department then the Crown Victoria police cruisers that were used in the past, Salazar said.
“This new vehicle has much better suspension and gets pretty low to the ground so it is better equipped for high speed pursuits,” he said.
Director of public safety and chief of police, Felipe Garza had an optimistic outlook for the new design, he said, and he gave the final approval.
They got good feed back from the campus officials but also the members of the Kingsville community, he said. TAMUK has strong ties to the community so positive feedback is desired, Garza said.