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Veterans Event Program

Richard Shafer
United States Air Force, (Retired)

Chief Shafer served in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Officer. Enlisted and obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant with assignments in South Dakota, Turkey and North Carolina. Specialized in nuclear security operations and Air Base Ground Defense. While on active duty he also attended college earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant serving in the Security Police career field. Assignments included North Dakota, Italy, Germany, Texas, Saudi Arabia, and Wyoming.

Duties included nuclear security, law enforcement and served on the Air Force European Inspector General Team that conducted Nuclear Security Inspections at NATO bases located throughout Europe. Deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Storm during the first Gulf War. Final assignment was as a Squadron Commander for a 250 person Security Police Squadron that was responsible for security operations for nuclear missiles deployed in Wyoming and Colorado. Retired at the rank of Major after 21 years in the USAF.

After retiring from the USAF Chief Shafer began a career with University Police. He began this career at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio as the police department’s program coordinator. He attended the University of Texas Police Academy and was commissioned as a Texas Peace Officer. While at the UTHSCSA PD he worked on department policies and procedures, training to include oversight of cadets in the UT Police Academy, In-Service Training requirements and the Field Officer Training program. He obtained the rank of police sergeant working as a shift supervisor.

Chief Shafer accepted a position with the Southern Methodist University Police Department after five years with the UTHSCSA PD. He began as a police officer soon promoted to Lieutenant assigned as a shift supervisor. He was then promoted to Captain and placed in charge of patrol operations, special events to include VIP protection operations. During this time he supervised numerous VIP events that included three events attended by the President of the United States working all security details with the United States Secret Service. He also supervised the opening of a new football stadium on campus. He was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police in 2005 with added responsibility of supervision of all department sections to include: Criminal Investigations, Administration and the Communications section.

Chief Shafer is named the new chief for SMU in 2007. Under his supervision the department has strived to improve overall security and law enforcement operations. They are working toward obtaining accreditation with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement and Administration (IACLEA). Expected completion is end of 2013. Training requirements for officers have more than doubled the State requirement. Retention rates have increased, Memorandums of Understandings have for the first time been approved with four other police agencies that support SMU. The George W. Bush Presidential Center security operation is supervised by Chief Shafer and his staff. They now have responsibility for all security operations at the Center in addition to all law enforcement activity.