UIW police chief steps down after Baytown student shot, killed

UIW police chief steps down after Baytown student shot, killed

UIW police chief steps down after Baytown student shot, killed

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by Dillon Collier / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- University of the Incarnate Word has made a change at the top of its police department.

Chief Jacob Colunga stepped down June 1, but will remain as a captain with the department, according to an internal memo shared with the KENS 5 I-Team Friday.

Robert Chavez, a longtime Terrell Hills police officer and UIW's assistant public safety director, has taken Colunga's place.

UIW students have criticized both Colunga and the UIW police department in the months since senior Cameron Redus, of Baytown, was shot and killed.

UIW Police Cpl. Chris Carter shot Redus five times following a traffic stop a few blocks from campus Dec. 6.

Carter told investigators Redus attacked him and that he shot the honor student while fearing for his life.

The Alamo Heights Police Department claims a body mic worn by Carter captured audio of the altercation, and that Redus ignored the officer's repeated commands.

In March, UIW students blasted Colunga for not showing up to a student forum to address safety concerns on campus.

Students told the I-Team Colunga agreed to attend, then cited a prior commitment kept him from showing up.

Recently, student leaders on campus have said UIW Public Safety Director Michael Agnese has taken the lead on discussing any potential changes to police department policies and procedures.

"It really felt like he was the one who was really pulling the strings, overseeing Chief Colunga and that was a bit disconcerting," former student body president Jonathan Guajardo said Friday.

Guajardo is now chairman of the school's student safety committee.

"One of the big concerns many of the students have had over the last few years has been physical fitness of the cops on campus," added Guajardo.

UIW administrators have publicly discussed raising salaries for future officers to attract better applicants.

Students have also requested UIW officers carry TASER guns.

 

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