Chief Charles Tackett poses with his bust, commissioned by Huntsville Artist Donnie Wyatt.
by the University Police Department
On September 23, 2014, after a lengthy illness, former Chief Charles W. Tackett passed away. Charles W. Tackett was the chief of police of the Sam Houston State University Police Department for 32 years beginning in August 6, 1973 and ending his tenure on November 1, 2005. Chief Tackett was an Alumnus of the University and a long-time supporter.
Charles Tackett began his law enforcement career in November 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas as patrol officer. During his time with the Corpus Christi Police Department between 1950 and 1973, he achieved the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Commander. Additionally, he served in the divisions of Patrol, Homicide & Robbery, Vice/Narcotics, Criminal Investigations, and Administration.
Upon arrival at Sam Houston State University, Chief Tackett assumed the position of the Director of the Department of Public Safety Services and remained in that capacity until his retirement from the University.
Chief Tackett was instrumental in the enactment of legislation that clarified, throughout the State of Texas, the jurisdiction of university police officers. As a result of his efforts, House Bill 391 was signed into law on June 17, 1987 wherein campus law enforcement jurisdiction was defined as including all counties in which property is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise under the control of the institution of higher education or public technical institute that employs peace officers and enforcement of all traffic and laws on streets and highways, as well as jurisdiction outside of their primary jurisdiction.
The University's Board of Regents adopted a resolution upon the Chief Tackett's (center) retireement.The one thing that Chief Charles Tackett was most proud of were the students that came to work for the University Police Department as officers and part-time student assistants. Many of these young men and women have gone on to distinguished and successful careers in the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Chief Tackett always kept a watchful eye and a keen interest in their careers.
The official motto of law enforcement is “To Protect and Serve” and this is what Chief Tackett did best. He always placed the University first and he was never too busy to assist someone who was in need.
Many an evening Chief Tackett would been seen working late in his office and when he was questioned about this, his response was always the same, “Someone needed my help.”