Protecting and Serving College Campuses

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Garret Hudson is working for Texas A&M Police, one of the largest college department in the state.

Alumnus Garret Hudson ('10) works for a college police department with jurisdiction in nearly every county in the state.

In just three years on the Texas A&M Police Department, Hudson has become a Field Training Officer (FTO), an intoxilyzer operator, and a member of the crisis intervention team. He also has been certified as a mental health officer, trained to assist those with mental health issues on campus or in the community.

“I always wanted to work in patrol,” said Hudson. “I worked very hard to get there.”

Texas A&M Police have jurisdiction in any county where the University owns, operates, or leases land, which crosses nearly the entire state. Hudson is one of 74 officers who work at the main campus, which straddles Bryan and College Station. He patrols the campus of 58,000 students rotating between day and night shifts. He handles all types of calls, with the most prevalent being drug and theft cases involved people on and off campus.

“We have full jurisdiction in any county where Texas A&M owns, maintains or controls property,” said Hudson, adding his responsibilities extend to hotels, shopping centers, and some non-university apartment complexes on the University’s property.

As a Field Training Officer, Hudson participates in training new recruits, teaching them the ropes of campus policing over a 20-week period. After graduating from a police academy, new officers spend four weeks with different FTOs not only to learn the job, but to observe individual policing styles. At each phase, recruits take on greater levels of responsibility for day-to-day operations.

“You have to have patience and get used to each recruit’s learning style,” said Hudson. “You can’t train every person the same way.”

Hudson is also a member of the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which is dispatched to calls involving individuals with mental health issues. Many times these incidents are not criminal in nature, but rather people who need help. Mental health officers are trained in identifying different types of mental illness, the questions to ask, and resources available in the community.

“It’s on the up,” said Hudson. “We deal with some people on a regular basis. Some are students, some are from the community, such as the homeless that come to sleep in the library.”

For Hudson, training is very important, and he takes advantage of opportunities to know more in the field. For example, he is certified as an intoxilyzer operator, assisting his department and other surrounding agencies in testing suspected drunken drivers. He also is called to court to testify in the cases and is certified in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement. For his efforts, he earned a Mothers Against Drunk Driving DWI Award in 2015 for the most arrests in the department, quality of reports and casework and quality in testifying in court as well as several quarterly awards from the local DWI Law Enforcement Advisory Group.

Most recently, he was among 3,200 officers from across the country who were part of the security detail for Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration. He also serves as a department recruiter.

“There are a lot of things that I think are exciting and make my job different every day,” said Hudson. “We are a very proactive department.”

Before joining Texas A&M Police, Hudson worked in corrections, first at the Ferguson Unit at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and as an Adult Probation Officer in Brazos County. While working as a probation officer, he joined a night police academy offered by the Brazos County Council of Government before becoming a detention officer for the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office.

Corrections taught him how to talk to people, particularly those who are dealing with one of the worst times of their lives. He prides himself on his professionalism, a trait emphasized in his duties at a campus police officer.

“You are a professional in this line of work,” said Hudson. “Be professional and know as much as you can. Push to learn as much as you can to continue to be a professional.”

Member of The Texas State University System