By Rachel Cywinski
LOGOS Staff Writer
A veteran Campus Police officer is now the chief and he’s got a deputy chief, too, at the University of the Incarnate Word. Jacob Colunga, a former captain, is now head of the department. And Chris Tingwald is his deputy chief.
Lou Fox, special assistant to UIW President Lou Agnese Jr., announced the promotions. In his announcement, Fox said, “Chief Colunga will manage the day-to-day operations of the UIW Police Department, whose jurisdiction extends to the university, St. Anthony Catholic High School and Incarnate Word High School. Deputy Chief Tingwald’s responsibilities will include coordinating the objectives of the administration of the police department and the law enforcement efforts under the control and jurisdiction of UIW. I will continue to supervise the UIW Police Department in my capacity as assistant to the president for community relations and campus security.”
The naming of the two men this semester is an apparent turnaround from last summer when Fox announced the elimination of the position of UIW police chief, then held by the retiring Joe Ramos. Fox, a former San Antonio city manager, moved into Ramos’ old office at the police station in Clement Hall.
Colunga said the department needed a designated police chief because without one the department was excluded from important community organizations.
Tingwald said the new titles were important “for our relationship with the community and especially other police departments. Certain doors open to chief of police in collaborations. (Our) duties are not that different, but your circle of influence increases.”
Colunga and Tingwald said they have placed priority on maintaining community relations to benefit the department. For example, UIW has the only police department continuing to participate in the Bexar County Community Plan. One benefit of the department’s participation is the granting of preferred status for any grant applications it submits to the U.S. Department of Justice.
While he was still captain, Colunga began plans to implement an online reporting system. The Silent Witness program, which is shared with Residence Life and Facilities, “is working well,” he said. “We are getting some reports from students who were afraid to reveal their names and would not have walked into the office.”
A program Colunga had begun to enhance relations between police and Residence Life has been revised.
Tingwald noted, “The Active and Passive program has two officers dedicated to addressing dorm resident needs, and we have good community relations.”