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Former constable named as UHV's first police officer

By Carolina Astrain
Aug. 10, 2013 at 3:10 a.m.
Updated Aug. 11, 2013 at 3:11 a.m.


Meet Rick Gammon

• NAME: Eric D. "Rick" Gammon

• AGE: 42

• HOME STATE: Missouri

• EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, Park University, Parkville, Mo., September 2003; Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement, El Paso Community College, December 2001

• CERTIFICATIONS: Special investigator certification, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 2012; Civil process proficiency certification, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 2011; verbal defense and influence tactical Communications instructor, 2010; mental health peace officer; certification, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 2010; master peace officer certification, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 2009; public information officer certification, Chris Ryan seminars, 2008; police instructor certification, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 2004

• AWARDS: Constable of the Year, West Texas Justices of the Peace and Constables Association, 2008; Skyline Optimist Club (El Paso) Community Education Award, 2007; Korea Defense Service Medal, 2012 (retroactive for service in Korea 1989-90); Army Achievement Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters (three awards); Army Good Conduct Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (two awards)

Source: University of Houston-Victoria

To the University of Houston-Victoria's new police officer, vigilance and respect are essential to keep a campus safe.

Sgt. Eric D. Gammon, who goes by Rick, began his first day as UHV's first full-time police officer Tuesday.

The former Precinct 2 El Paso County constable started looking for work closer to Houston after his daughter and son-in-law chose to move their family to Houston.

Gammon, 42, said he and his wife wanted to remain close to their 3-year-old grandson.

"My wife thought about it as hard she could and said, 'Well, if we can't kidnap him, then we're going to have to move to the Houston area,'" Gammon said jokingly.

Gammon began to tap into his law enforcement network, which led him to applying for the UHV position through the University of Houston's main campus.

In November 2011, UHV received a three-year grant of $299,752 from the U.S. Department of Justice to help prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.

Gammon was the third and final person to be employed through the justice grant.

Elena Torres, a victim advocate, and Hege Riise, a counseling psychologist, were also contracted by the university through the justice department grant.

The police officer's contract fees through the UH Police Department will be covered by some of the grant money, said Wayne Beran, vice president for administration and finance.

With an adjusted salary because of additional administrative duties, the sergeant said his salary will range between $54,000 and $55,000 a year.

His duties include law enforcement of the campus, the development of educational safety programs, the compilation of campus safety data and statistics and the management of the university's five-person security staff.

Gammon will report directly to Beran and the UH Police Department.

UHV hopes to hire additional police officers as student population grows, Beran said.

"He's going to help us take a look at our local policies and student handbook discipline procedures," Beran said. "This is new territory for us; we're glad to have him."

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