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David Hernandez and Jesse Zapata
David Hernandez (left) and Jesse Zapata

UTSA police chief honored by UTSA Downtown Council

By Alison Beshur
Public Affairs Specialist

(July 31, 2006)--UTSA Police Chief David Hernandez recently was honored by the UTSA Downtown Council for his service to the university.

Hernandez joined UTSA in January after a 20-year career with the Rochester (New York) Police Department. He oversees the university's police department, which includes 48 officers, 20 guards, eight dispatchers and 10 support staff at the 1604 Campus, Downtown Campus and UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures.

In February, shortly after Hernandez reported for duty at UTSA, student Naomi Fuentes disappeared from the UTSA Downtown Campus. Hernandez led the 34-day investigation into the disappearance and located Fuentes, who had left the campus and the city of her own free will.

Jesse Zapata, vice provost for the UTSA Downtown Campus, said he and other members of the Downtown Council wanted to show their appreciation for Hernandez's dedication to the Downtown Campus.

"As soon as he came on board, he quickly implemented improvements in security on the campus," Zapata said. "He also helped maintain a calm environment during the search for Naomi Fuentes."

The UTSA Downtown Campus was built in the late 1990s and now serves 6,000 students with more than 500 graduate and undergraduate courses. The College of Public Policy and the College of Architecture are based at the campus, including classes for seven graduate and 16 undergraduate programs.

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