Alumnus named police chief

Patrick German

Patrick Coggins
Patrick Coggins

Once Police Chief Patrick Coggins heard about the opening position from a current employee, he saw many reasons to apply for the position following Dan Williams’ retirement last fall.

Coggins said, “First off, [MSU is] my alma mater, and I actually knew former Chief Dan Williams through professional and personal association. Midwestern State Police Department has very reputable standards with both local and state law enforcement agencies.”

Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Keith Lamb had certain criteria for potential applicants such as Coggins to meet.

“Lamb said he was looking for someone that had knowledge of higher education, knowledge of different federal and state regulations that impact police environment, a community policing philosophy, and someone who had the right temperament for the job, and finally someone who understood his or her roles as educators,”

They had more than 19 applicants apply for the open position, applicants who Lamb said she would score to see if they meet qualifications.

“The process would start with the initial applications would go to human resources and I would score those to see if they meet qualifications or they don’t,” Lamb said.

Lamb said applicants who met qualifications, were forwarded to the hiring committee members who then did telephone interviews and chose five applications to come for a campus visit, ultimately prioritizing their choices for Lamb.

Coggins was the final candidate.

“He had a lot of leadership roles in a university police environment, and because of that experience, he understands community policing, Lamb said.

“He also understands our roles as educators and he understands what goes on at a college campus. There really wasn’t much of a learning curve as that goes, and of course, he has a master’s degree. He was just exceptional in every way and I thought his personality was a great fit.”

Coggins said he has a lot of expectations going into his new role as chief of police.

“First and foremost, my expectations are to ensure the security and safety of the campus and make sure that we are able to provide the highest level of law enforcement possible with our resources,” Coggins said. “I would like to see our department have and use state-of-the-art equipment, to have the proper resources to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. I would like us to get an investigator in higher education, because we do have cases of college campuses that require an open investigation,” Coggins said.

Once Lamb offered Coggins the police chief position, he said he and his family were happy about the move.

“My family was going to move with me after they finished up their school year and move down to the Central Texas area,” Coggins said. “That was the plan. However, when this opportunity came up, instead of moving down there, they are delighted to be moving up here. I have a better connection here.”

CAREER

  • Coggins’ 27-year career in law enforcement includes positions in United States Air Force, the Texas cities of Winters and Snyder police departments, and the Scurry County Sheriff’s Office.
  • From 2003 to 2015 he worked for West Texas A&M University in Canyon, where in 2009 he was promoted to lieutenant as the director of police operations and in 2014 named director of support services.
  • Before coming to MSU, he served as the chief of police/director of public safety at Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen.

EDUCATION

  • Associate’s degree from Western Texas College
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences from MSU
  • Master of Criminal Justice from Troy University

SEARCH COMMITTEE

  • Chair, Keith Lamb, vice president student affairs and enrollment management
  • Michael Mills, study abroad, director
  • Catherine Gaharan, associate professor, accounting
  • Albert Jimenes, police sergeant
  • Jesse Brown, Student Government Association, president