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Hero Down: University of Texas Police Chief David Carter Succumbs To Cancer

Austin, TX – University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) Chief David Carter died on April 22 after a lengthy cancer battle, according to his department.

The UTPD announced the 64-year-old police chief’s death later the same day.

“UTPD is deeply saddened to announce that Chief of Police David Carter passed away early this morning, after a prolonged and valiant fight against cancer,” the police department tweeted. “Our hearts are with the Carter family and all who knew him.”

Chief Carter began serving as the UTPD’s chief in 2013, and was also named Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety in 2018, KVUE reported.

His law enforcement career spanned nearly 40 years, according to KXAN.

Chief Carter began his law enforcement career in Bryan, Texas after graduating from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University.

He joined the Austin Police Department (APD) in 1985 and worked as a SWAT officer, SWAT commander, hostage negotiator, internal affairs director, and homicide detective during his decades of service, KXAN reported.

He ultimately became the agency’s chief of staff, KXAN reported.

“It saddens me deeply that we lost such an integral part of our university community,” UT President Jay Hartzell said in a statement, according to KVUE.

“Chief Carter not only understood the impact of policing, he also embraced the role of our force in protecting and supporting our students and the university community,” Hartzell said. “My deep-felt condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues who all share in this great loss of an outstanding leader.”

Chief Carter received a multitude of awards during his time with the APD, including three Meritorious Service Medals, a Life Saving Medal, a Distinguished Command Medal, and a Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, KVUE reported.

He was also the recipient of a U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division “Order of the Spur” Gold Combat Spurs Award for his assistance with military police, according to KTBC.

“UTPD has not only lost a decorated leader, we have lost a member of our family,” UTPD Acting Chief Don Verett told KVUE. “Chief Carter was admired and respected by all of the law enforcement professionals who were fortunate to work under his leadership and instruction. His body of work and reputation continue to be an inspiration to UTPD, and we will continue to look to Chief Carter as an example to live up to.”

Chief Carter leaves behind his wife and daughter, according to the UTPD.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of University of Texas Police Department Chief David Carter, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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