Spotlight on: Chief of Police

UTSA Police Department (UTSAPD) Chief of Police Steve Barrera graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and continued his education at San Antonio College for two years and graduated. He then received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982 from UTSA. After receiving his B.A. he continued to Texas State where he graduated in 1988 with his Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

He joined the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) in 1979. After 31 years with the SAPD where he acted as the Deputy Chief. While working for the SAPD he also worked part-time as an instructor at UTSA and taught criminal justice courses. Barerra  was also an adjunct professor of public administration at Wayland Baptist University. 

Barrera said he hoped to return to UTSA.  “I just feel like I’m at home here,” Barrera said.

He said he has always felt a strong connection to UTSA because of his former experience as a student and teacher.

Barrera said he enjoys interacting with the students and the majority of his job involves going out into the community and speaking to students, faculty and staff.

UTSAPD will also have town hall meetings inviting interested members of the UTSA body.

UTSAPD is also conducting student training to teach them what to do in the event of an emergency. Alcohol education, personal safety presentations, the safety escort program and whistle defense program are some of the training programs the police department is performing.

Utilizing Reverse 911, UTSAPD can also send text messages and e-mails to students if there is a threat on campus. On Aug. 6, during the summer, UTSAPD performed a mock drill on campus where they had an actor pretend to shoot at students on campus.

To make this drill more realistic SAPD and Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team showed up with their weapons and equipment. This drill intended to prepare students, faculty and staff in the event that a shooting or crisis ever occurred on campus.

 Barrera’s ultimate goal is to “develop programs aimed at preventing crime, protecting students and improving the environment”.