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New police chief headed to University Police Department

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Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Multimedia Editor

The University Police Department will be under new leadership this year, as a new police chief will take on his role in May.

Jose Banales was hired as the new police chief, and will begin his duties May 2. Banales has been in law enforcement for over 32 years in San Antonio.

Banales received his undergraduate degree from Texas State. The police chief to be said he enjoyed his time at the university, and when he heard about the job opening, thought it was a perfect opportunity.

“I learned of an opportunity to retire from the city of San Antonio to a place where I feel like I can make a difference,” Banales said. “Everyone I spoke to during my interview process spoke very highly of the university environment, and I still like what I do as far as being an officer. I was looking at starting a new career so this was a perfect opportunity.”

Captain Rickey Lattie said UPD has continually grown and developed and the officers are looking forward to the fresh perspective Banales can bring to the table.

“We are a technology leader in the field of law enforcement for many years we have been progressive in our policies and community policing procedures,” Lattie said. “I know Chief Banales already has some new ideas for the department and how he’d like to see it restructured and improved.”

Captain Daniel Benitez already has a working relationship with Banales.

“I talk to him on a weekly basis to give him the rundown as to kind of what we are doing so when he gets here it’s not like a total shock of what we do and how we do things,” Benitez said.

Benitez said that he and Banales have some of the same philosophies and views when it comes to police work.

“I believe that Chief Banales is an individual who believes in accountability and in loyalty,” Benitez said. “He believes in many things similar to me and I think working together with him will help get his views across.”

Lattie thinks he knows Banales is highly qualified and puts an emphasis on community involvement—something Lattie says is a must for UPD.

“He’s been assistant chief to one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Texas,” Lattie said. “He’s worked from the lowest level up through the ranks. He has a wide range of experience and understands how the different levels of law enforcement work, and he has a great view towards community involvement.”

Banales said he is a strong believer in community, and wants to ensure that UPD officers engage with the local environment around them.

“My experience in San Marcos is that they all have to have a certain confidence in the police department to make sure that our officers are approachable,” Banales said. “My philosophy and expectation would be that every police officer that works for the University Police Department is out there cultivating and nurturing relationships with every encounter they have.”

He also wants to make sure the department is up to date on all of its policies and procedures.

“My strong suit of what I want to bring to Texas State is probably getting the department a complete review of the policies and procedures to make sure they are in line with the national practices,” Banales said. “This will ensure that we are in line with all the best practices so that we know we will be up there with other law enforcement agencies.”