William H. Adcox

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William H. Adcox (born 1958) is the Chief Security Officer for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a pioneer of Threat Safety Science in healthcare. He is also the Chief of Police and Chief Security Officer at the University of Texas at Houston Police Department, which is a component of the University of Texas System. He has had a longstanding career as a police officer and Deputy Chief of Police in El Paso, Texas.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Adcox joined the El Paso Police Department in 1978 after attending the El Paso Police Academy. He later attended Park College in Parkville, Missouri where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 1997. In 2004, he earned a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, and has had subsequent business training at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania


El Paso Police Department, El Paso, Texas[edit]

Adcox was sworn in as an officer of the law with the El Paso Police Department in 1978. He was promoted to Captain of the Administrative Services Division in May 1993 where he managed 300 sworn and civilian personnel. In October 1993, he was appointed the Captain of the Special Operations and Training Division where assisted in oversight of the Department's implementation of community-based policing and increased minority representation on the Academy training staff. In 1994, Adcox reviewed training staff and concluded that the ethnic and gender make up was not representative of the city or the department. He implemented a performance improvement program consisting of a rotation system, heightened staff standards, implemented a fair and equitable selection process for staff members, and recruited qualified interested staff members in order to address the issue of representation with noteworthy improvement in all measures.[3]

In November 1996 until his retirement he served as Deputy Chief where he oversaw numerous successful multi-agency task force operations working with agencies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DEA and the FBI.

University of Texas at El Paso Police Department[edit]

Adcox took the role of Chief of Police University of Texas at El Paso Police Department in September 1999. At the time, the UTEP police force policed a campus with 3,700 employees, 15,000 students, and thousands of annual visitors.[1] When he was hired, Adcox was praised by Juan Sandoval, UTEP vice president for finance and administration, for being "well versed in community relations."[1]

University of Texas at Houston Police Department[edit]

In 1999, Adcox became the Chief of Police at the University of Texas at Houston Police Department which protects the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.[2][4] Since his tenure as chief, the UTPD has maintained its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). In 2009 the Department was accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and received its second reaccreditation in 2014. The Department also received Texas Police Chief's Association Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition in 2010 and Re-Recognition in 2013. Adcox was appointed by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to the UT System Police Management Review Task Force and selection committee for the System Director of Police. He was a panelist participant for two major United States Department of Energy city, county, state and federal emergency response exercises, Space City Thunder in 2009 and Rolling Thunder in 2013.[5]

Threat Safety Research and Development[edit]

Threat Safety Research and Development[edit]

Adcox is one of the pioneers Threat Safety Science for the healthcare industry sector along with his research colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Center, clinical experts at the Texas Medical Center, and national threat management and patient safety experts. The research and development work is focused on prevention, preparedness, protection, and performance improvement related to manmade and natural threats.

Establishment of a Threat Management Unit[edit]

Adcox established a Threat Management Unit at the University of Texas whose actions have resulted in a 300% increase in early intervention reporting between 2012 and 2014.[4] UTPD officers are trained to evaluate dynamic situations in order to engage individuals and provide help before a situation turns violent or deadly. Reports indicate that hospital employees feel more comfortable reporting concerning behavior so officers can get these individuals help before their behavior escalates to criminal activity or harm to themselves or others.[4] The unit was involved in 11 suicide interventions in a four-month period where the people investigated were held under an Emergency Detention Order and given psychiatric care. During that same four-month period, the Threat Management Unit intervened in 18 cases in which the subject was considered to be at high risk for committing a violent act.[4]

Medical Tactical Training Program[edit]

Adcox is an expert contributor to a global bystander care training program, called Med Tac, that combines professional expertise and evidence-based techniques from the medical and tactical communities to train people with lifesaving behaviors that can be used in the first few minutes after a life-threatening event and before professional first responders arrive. He is the lead contributor to the program for law enforcement and security professionals and launched the program at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Adcox and the core team that created Med Tac were awarded with the Pete Conrad Global Patient Safety Award in 2018 for their work in this area.[6]


  • National Security Clearance – Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Master Peace Officer, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)
  • Police Instructor –State of Texas
  • Academic Recognition Award - State of Texas

Professional Affiliations[edit]

  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
  • Police Executive Research Forum
  • Texas Police Chiefs Association
  • American Society for Industrial Security – Chief Security Officer (CSO) Roundtable
  • International Association for Healthcare Safety and Security
  • Security Executive Council
  • Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 2013 - Police Chief of the Year, University of Texas System Police
  • 2013 - Most Influential People in Security, Security Magazine
  • 2013 - IACLEA Award for Administrative Excellence, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
  • 2015 – Director of the Year for healthcare Public Safety, Campus Safety magazine
  • 2015 – IHSSF Lindberg Distinguished Program Award, International Healthcare Safety and Security Foundation
  • 2015 – NTOA Spirit Award, National Tactical Officers Association honoring UT Police at Houston –the only university police department in the nation to receive the NTOA award
  • 2018 – Pete Conrad Global Patient Safety Award
  • 2018 – Russell L. Colling Literary Award[7]


  1. ^ a b c Perez, Daniel (18 August 1999). "Top El Paso Officer to Take Police Chief Job at UTEP". El Paso Times. El Paso Times.
  2. ^ a b "Chiefs of Police". The University of Texas System. The University of Texas System. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  3. ^ Reaves, Ph.D., Brian; Hickman, Matthew. "Police Departments in Large Cities, 1990-2000" (PDF). U. S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Gray, Robin. "A New Attitude Toward Hospital Security: The Wellness Approach". Campus Safety Magazine. EH Publishing. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Spotlight on Director of the Year Finalist William Adcox". Campus Safety Magazine. EH Publishing. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Recent Recipients". Pete Conrad Global Patient Safety Award.
  7. ^ "Russell L. Colling Literary Award | IAHSSF: International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation - Education and Professional Advancement". iahssf.org.