Police Chief Jimmy Ellison was elected president of the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators (TACUPA) last month. He will serve a one-year term as president for the 2012 calendar year.
He is the first ACU-affiliated officer to serve as president of TACUPA.
Ellison said he was honored to be elected to serve as president.
“I felt honored to be nominated, much less elected,” he said. “I have great respect for this organization.”
TACUPA is a statewide association for law enforcement on college and university campuses. The organization is affiliated with the Texas Police Chiefs Association, and Ellison has also been asked to serve on the executive board of the TPCA.
“They have granted our association a position on their executive board so TACUPA will now have a voice in TPCA,” he said. “I was asked to serve on their executive board separately but in addition to president of TACUPA.”
Ellison said he’s been involved with TACUPA since he entered campus law enforcement in 2001.
“It’s a very well-respected organization across the state,” Ellison said. “TACUPA has very slowly become the voice of campus law enforcement in Texas, especially in matters of legislation that might affect campus safety.”
Ellison said he doesn’t plan to bring a lot of change to TACUPA, but will make any improvements he finds necessary.
“Our association has done a great job of establishing the organization as a well-respected organization,” he said. “I want to continue maintaining the work of the TACUPA.”
Ellison worked in the Beaumont Police Department for 18 years before coming to ACU more than a decade ago. He said his background in municipal policing helped better prepare him for his service as ACU Police Chief and as president of TACUPA.
“Having this blend of both municipal and campus policing experience better equipped me for this position in TACUPA and helps me recognize which issues are specific to municipal, campus or both types of police work,” he said. “We think we have a quality, professional police department, one that students can be proud of, and we’ve been working to bridge responsibilities and abilities from campus and municipal policing.”
Rick Woodard, patrol sergeant in the ACU Police Department, said Ellison has helped to make ACU a leader in college and university police departments.
“The ACU Police Department is looked up to around the state,” Woodard said. “When he came to ACU, he changed the department from a team of security guards to a complete police department. He completely changed the image around.”
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president and dean for student life, said he recognized Ellison’s potential early last year.
“I nominated him for the TACUPA Outstanding Police Administrator award, and he won,” Thompson said. “I think it’s a direct reflection of his high level of professionalism and overall character.”
Thompson said Ellison’s election reflects well on ACU.
“It’s fantastic for the university that one of ours is achieving such high honors,” he said. “We’re honored and I’m thrilled for him.”
Thompson said Ellison has developed the ACU Police Department since he came to the university more than 10 years ago.
“Rarely do you see a chief of police so well-connected and respected,” he said. “He’s down-to-earth and likeable. He’s the real deal.”
Ellison jokingly declared his first executive action as president would be shortening the name of the organization.
“TACUPA is too long,” he said.