But Lt. Tim Stump said he wanted to continue serving a community he had grown close with over the years, so he joined the UNM Police Department.
“I had other opportunities when I left APD, and I chose this one out of all of them because I wanted to be part of the community,” Stump said.
Before investigating robberies and violent crimes as a detective for APD, he worked as a field officer in the UNM area for eight years.
He said he became interested in the job after hearing positive feedback from UNMPD officers while working security with them at athletics events, where he formed friendships with both faculty and students.
“I worked the Southeast area command for many years before I became a detective, so this area has a lot of personal attachment to me,” Stump said.
Now, Stump supervises security and dispatch duties at UNMPD. He is also the Department’s Public Information Officer. He said that while his work at APD taught him how to be a police officer, UNMPD is a change of pace from working for the city police.
“The biggest difference between working here and APD is that at UNM the faculty and students choose to be here, and that means everyone has a direction they want to see this community go,” Stump said.
While there are problems with theft and even more serious crimes like sexual assault, he said the problems UNMPD tries to solve seem much less intimidating than the challenges facing APD.
Stump said he enjoys working directly with students and faculty more than any other aspect of the job.
But as a lieutenant, he has other duties he must fulfill, such as analyzing yearly crime statistics. These statistics are compiled into the UNM Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Part of Stump’s job is to look at these data and help the Department create and implement solutions.
“Along with crime stats, the complete report also includes information about crime prevention programs, ways to report criminal activity and campus policies on sexual assault, drugs and alcohol, and weapons,” UNM Police Chief Kevin McCabe said in a statement that accompanied the report.
Along with other members of the command staff, Stump helps lower-ranking officers effectively reduce crime. He said being an officer in the field is exciting and adventurous, but he is happy to support younger officers as a lieutenant instead.
“I think my role is empowering the officers and making their lives easier so they want to go out and do a great job,” Stump said.
Stump said he and the department share the same goal, which is to make students safer and more aware of their surroundings.
“When students see cops, they wonder why they’re there, but we want them to know that they’re safe and we’re right around the corner if they need help,” he said.
He said that reducing crime is a challenge, but that positive results are extremely rewarding.
“We can never completely get rid of crime, but when we see the crime stats go down, we know we’re accomplishing our goal,” Stump said. “After all, this is such a beautiful campus. Why would you not want to walk around and just not worry about the little things?”
Lena Guidi is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @DailyLobo.