Sgt. Kelly Ham is retiring from the TCU Police Department after a 30 year career, a time which saw the perception of the campus police department change.
“When I first came to TCU, the police department mainly just took reports,” Ham said. “We did not have much respect from other agencies.”
Initially, the department did not participate in investigative work. But Ham said that changed when he was asked to be a detective.
“We started filing our own cases, which we had never done before, investigating the cases, filing them with the District Attorney’s Office and working closely with the Fort Worth PD,” Ham said.
Other agencies began to notice TCU.
“Respect went way up from other agencies,” he said. “They started calling us because we had resources they didn’t have.”
Ham said the department now employs three full time investigators and one part time.
“We’ve been pretty successful in the major cases we’ve had to investigate,” he said.
Along with an increase in investigative work, Ham said keeping the police staff within the department was an important factor in its growth.
“The police department when I first came here had a turn over rate that was very high. They couldn’t keep in officers,” Ham said.
That’s when the university stepped up.
“They finally realized they needed to pay to be competitive so they increased the pay and we started getting good, quality officers,” he said.
Ham said those officers continue to be well qualified with plenty of experience.
“I would challenge anybody to find a department our size that has the experience that we have,” Ham said. “Just about every one of our officers has their master peace officer’s license and at least 25 years experience.”
“TCU will miss the dedicated work of Sgt. Kelly Ham,” wrote Kathy Cavins-Tull, TCU’s vice-chancellor for student affairs.
Cavins-Tull said Robert Rangel will fill the position vacated by Ham.
“Mr. Rangel has been training with Sgt. Ham this year and will make that transition immediately,” she wrote.
Ham said he now plans to work in the private sector.