Suarez named new STC chief of police
Former Lt. Ruben Suarez has officially been hired as STC’s new chief of police effective Jan. 1. Suarez had served as acting chief for the last 18 months since the retirement of former chief Paul Varville in 2019.
As South Texas College’s newly hired chief of police, Ruben Suarez pledges to continue to adopt practices that emphasize approachability and community policing.
Celebrating 38 years of experience this month in law enforcement, as well as community policing in municipal police departments and higher education, Suarez says he looks forward to working in his capacity as the college’s top cop.
Officially hired as STC’s new chief effective Jan. 1, Suarez has served as acting chief for the last 18 months since the retirement of former chief Paul Varville in 2019.
“The expectations I had as acting chief, and now as STC’s chief of police, don’t change. The officers I am in charge of know who I am and what I expect,” Suarez said. “As public servants, we need to show that we are concerned with community concerns.
“If we genuinely listen, and are concerned with their needs, that’s what I want the community to know about who we are,” Suarez said.
“As public servants, we need to show that we are concerned with community concerns. If we genuinely listen, and are concerned with their needs, that’s what I want the community to know about who we are.”
Prior to STC, Suarez worked as an evidence sergeant at the McAllen Police Department and as a Police Officer/Communication Officer at the Edinburg Police Department dating back to 1983.
Suarez holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas Pan American. His experience at STC includes working as the acting chief of police, police lieutenant, and sergeant since he began with the college in 2013.
As chief of police, Suarez now oversees the safety of a multi-campus institution consisting of five campuses and two higher education centers located in Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
“My approach has been and will continue…to work with the college stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, and visitors on building relationships and showing we are approachable,” Suarez said. “I tell officers that one bad apple can ruin the bunch. We have to show the community that we can be approached and that we are here to listen to them.”
The STC Police Department was created in 2012 when the Board of Trustees voted to approve a college police department, and a license was obtained from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Police officers were hired beginning in 2013, and the department has since expanded to include 23 police officers and 56 security guards patrolling the college’s campuses. Safety is accomplished through the education of the college community on crime prevention methods and techniques, as well as a vast array of security measures to ensure the safety and security of everyone on campus.
STC utilizes high-tech surveillance, LED lighting, a 24/7 dispatch office, and a RAVE mass notification system that enables the college to communicate during times of emergency through text messages, emails, or phone calls in the event of any impending threat.
The South Texas College Department of Public Safety supports the mission of the college by providing a safe educational environment for students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. This is accomplished through:
•The education of the college community on crime prevention methods and techniques and the need to assume personal responsibility for safety and security on campus.
•The maintenance of a comprehensive all-hazards emergency response plan to ensure the safety of individuals and the protection of college assets.
•The acquisition and utilization of state-of-the-art technology to deter crime and protect the college community.
•The enforcement of all laws, policies, and regulations to ensure the safety and security of all individuals.
“I would like to express to the STC community at large that I have an open-door policy, whether it’s through phone or email right now due to the pandemic, I can be contacted for whatever their needs may be,” Suarez said.