Posted: 9/30/22

New TAMIU Police Chief Steps into History as First Hispanic Female Police Dept. Leader


Cordelia Perez
TAMIU Police Chief Cordelia G. Perez  

When incoming Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Chief of Police Cordelia G. Perez looks out across the TAMIU campus, she sees something that looks familiar to her.

 After all, it’s the home of her 2014 Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and her two sons’ degree pursuits…and a student population that’s predominantly female and Hispanic …like her. And just like them, she’s ready to make history.

Perez is the first female Hispanic Chief of Police at TAMIU.  She is currently the sole female police chief in the 11-campus Texas A&M University System and one of a few female police chiefs in the System’s history.

She was introduced to the campus and community by TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz at a press conference Friday, September 30 in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s Great Room.

Perez was joined by TAMIU faculty, staff and students, members of her family and her extended local law enforcement community brothers and sisters.

“We are excited about having Chief Perez join the TAMIU team and bring her impressive career and experience to our University Police Department.  Her prior service to the Laredo Police Department (LPD), leadership in community policing, and advocacy for and outreach to victims of crimes combine to create a uniquely qualified and visionary leader for our University Police Department.  She’s a role model and truly represents our ‘Go Beyond’ vision for our campus, its students and its graduates. We look forward to her leadership and service here,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Perez said she’s honored to be selected and thrilled to contribute back to her alma mater, and her on and off-campus community.

“It’s definitely a full-circle moment for me. TAMIU empowered me to build a foundation that helped secure my future.  It’s doing the same for my sons and the over 8,500 students charting their futures here each semester.  Nothing is more important to me than their safety, and I’m honored to be able to ensure that a strong sense of security is a fundamental part of the excellent learning community we create,” Chief Perez said.

Perez said she will focus on two core values to help her lead the University’s Police Department. 

“My previous LPD roles in victim advocacy saw me dealing with people in the absolute toughest times of their lives. I learned quickly that there are two core values that should anchor our police service: compassion and empathy.  We best deliver those values by listening, by truly listening; acknowledging our shared humanity, and working together to find a solution. These values will be the most powerful tools on our officers’ service belts.

“Let there be no doubt, we are first and foremost officers of the law, and will reinforce the law on campus -- but these values will undergird the service and support provided by our University Police officers.  The University is very much an extended family and a home away from home for many.  As a family, we will come together to create the safest and most welcoming environment for our University community and the community at large,” Perez observed.

She said she is impressed by the University’s officers and their commitment to protect and serve. 

“At TAMIU, we will have the best-educated, best-trained and best-prepared PD, and I am confident that together we will create a model for our campus, region and nation. We will be accessible, engaged and present with our campus community.  We’ll be listening and being part of conversations that will lead us all forward. This is truly a special place and we are all proud to make sure that it remains so each and every day,” Perez concluded. 

Former TAMIU Police Chief Fructuoso San Miguel passed away earlier this year.  San Miguel oversaw the creation of dedicated, stand-alone UPD facilities and its program-defining award designation as a “Recognized Law Enforcement Agency” by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Recognition Program, the first Laredo law enforcement agency to secure the recognition.

Perez will build on this, taking charge of a full-service, 24/7 Police Department tasked with providing an environment that fosters opportunities for personal responsibility and growth, and an educational and protective backstop for exploration by all TAMIU students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Department enforces University policies as well as local, state and federal laws.

For additional information on the University’s Police Department, visit https://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/police, email: dispatcher@tamiu.edu or call 956.326.2100. 

University news and information is also available online at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.