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Dahlstrom selected as new police chief for The University of Texas at Austin

Februay 9, 2006

Photo of Robert Dahlstrom

AUSTIN, Texas — Robert E. Dahlstrom, chief of staff in the Austin Police Department, has been appointed chief of The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, according to Dr. Pat Clubb, the university’s vice president for employee and campus services.

Dahlstrom, a 28-year veteran of the Austin Police Department, will assume his duties as police chief in mid-March. His appointment concludes a nationwide search to fill a vacancy created in spring 2005 when the university’s police chief, Jeffrey Van Slyke, resigned to work on his doctor’s degree.

Dr. Mike L. Lauderdale, the Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial Professor in Criminal Justice, was chair of the search committee.

“The University is fortunate to have attracted someone of Dahlstrom’s caliber into the position of chief of police,” said Clubb. “His depth of experience and open, friendly demeanor will be a winning combination for the campus,”

Dahlstrom said he has been a guest speaker at The University of Texas at Austin and has had many other occasions during the years to interact with the university community.

“I’m very honored to have been selected for this position and I look forward to working with The University of Texas community,” Dahlstrom said. “My goal is to make this the safest campus in America.”

Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security Gerald R. Harkins said he was very pleased with Dahlstrom’s appointment. Harkins also praised the work of Terry McMahan, who has been the university’s interim chief of police during the nationwide search process by Lauderdale’s committee.

“The university owes a debt of gratitude to Interim Chief Terry McMahan for the professionalism and dedication he has shown to the job and the university,” Harkins said.

Dahlstrom, who became affiliated with the Austin Police Department as an intern in 1976 and later as a cadet in 1977, has been the department’s chief of staff since September 2005. He is responsible for the operation and conduct of the department in the chief’s absence and is liaison to the Austin City Council. His many duties also include coordination of the efforts of executive-level staff members in the department.

Previously, Dahlstrom was the Austin Police Department’s assistant chief, responsible for supervision of all patrol area commands, including nine commanders and about 850 police officers. His duties included serving as the department liaison to The University of Texas at Austin Police Department. He met often with university administrators and police personnel to discuss campus safety issues.

Dahlstrom received his bachelor of science with a major in criminal justice from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in 1977. He was in the Graduate Management Institute Program in 2003 at Sam Houston State University’s Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas.

Awards received by Dahlstrom include 62 interdepartmental commendations, 41 commendations received from the community, the Austin NAACP Professional Service Award, the “Peacemaker of the Year” Award from the Dispute Resolution Center of Texas and numerous other departmental and community awards.