Title image: CUPD Deputy Chief Tom Matlock in red with the LEBA class, summer 2020.
New University of Colorado Police Department (CUPD) Deputy Chief Tom Matlock enjoys his job, Boulder’s outdoor lifestyle, and the department chief’s positive attitude, which he says helps officers and staff to feel safe in suggesting ideas for programs and initiatives that will benefit students and lead the department into the future.
Matlock was promoted to Deputy Chief on Monday, April 11. This is a new leadership position at CUPD and he feels ready to fill it after a two-decade long career spent protecting students, faculty and staff and engaging with campus communities. Matlock spent 17 years with the University of Kentucky Police Department, before joining the CUPD in April 2019.
“After my interview, the boss (Doreen Jokerst, who had been in the job for six months) walked me to the elevator, told me about the department’s forward-looking goals, plans and initiatives. I felt an instant connection,” Matlock recalls.
He immediately fell in love with the CU Boulder campus and the larger Boulder community. An avid cyclist, Matlock commutes to work every day (mountain biking in winter and spring, road biking in summer and fall). His passion for cycling has resulted in more officers getting out of their cars and onto two wheels, both on bicycles and motorbikes, increasing face-to-face interaction with everyone on campus.
“A key part of our mission at CUPD is to reduce crime and the fear of crime,” Matlock said. “A great way to do that is to make sure our agents are accessible and engaged with our community.” The little extra of the bike? It may be faster to get around campus by bike than by car.
Thanks to Matlock’s instructions, several CUPD officers, residential services officers and community safety officers are now certified by the Law Enforcement Cyclists Association. For the past three years, he has also led the department’s motorcycle officer program, which now has two officers certified by the Northwestern Center for Public Safety.
And Matlock’s wheels are turning, as he hatches ideas for possible future CUPD programs, such as an emotional support dog, officer-taught self-defense classes offered to the campus community and an academy. citizen policing. Student engagement ideas such as these are consistent with the the ministry’s mission, core values and operating principles to be stakeholder-driven.
“Students are the reason we are here. Nurturing public trust through respect and listening is important. It allows us to do our job better,” Matlock said. “I take this to heart. »
CUPD leader Doreen Jokerst says Matlock’s passion and energy for college policing, as well as her ideas for further driving community engagement, bring a lot to the table. “I appreciate Deputy Chief Matlock’s experience and judgment, and I’m excited to see what the future holds,” she said, adding that he would replace her as acting chief when she would not be available.
Jokerst said she also looked forward to Matlock’s ability to support and lead those at the CUPD. He graduated from the FBI National Academy, a professional development program open to police chiefs nominated for their leadership potential and abilities. Matlock is currently the second vice president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter and will lead the chapter next year.
Born and raised in California, with an undergraduate degree in education and kinesiology from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Western Kentucky University, Matlock has now put down his roots in Colorado. “I came here for a Monarch Crest Trail bike race in 2018 and decided Colorado was calling my name. I feel very fortunate to be able to serve in this capacity at CU Boulder.