Matt Welch: ‘We want to be a part of the community at Tarleton’
By Bethany Kyle–
Beginning Oct. 6, Tarleton will welcome a new police chief on campus. Matt Welch, who is the former supervisor of special investigations for the Fort Worth Police department, gave Texan News the opportunity to learn more about him and the changes he plans to bring to Tarleton when he begins working in the position.
Welch said first of all that he wants students to “not just look at me as a police officer.” He has a wife, three children, and a love for dogs and watching sporting events.
“We want to be a part of the community at Tarleton,” he said.
He was drawn to Tarleton because of the recruiting they had done around him and he has always “really enjoyed the campus aspect of policing,” and said that the parts of his career that he has worked with college students have been the most rewarding of his 31 years.
His interest in working with college policing is in large part because of their ability to be innovative and more accepting of change. “Typically, most college environments are open to new ideas,” he said.
He plans to bring lessons learned from previous experience working with Texas Christian University, which is that communication is key when handling cases with students and deciding if they should be conducted criminally or administratively.
“You have to have open lines of communication,” he said. “We have to be all on the same page about what’s the most appropriate way to handle something.”
Welch also has experience in the field of sexual assault and plans to bring that expertise to Tarleton and the way campus sexual assaults are handled. Along with it, Welch plans to bring more “preventative education” because it will in turn create “less stigma because of all the people talking about it.”
He said that he would like to bring a speaker to campus to talk to students and faculty alike.
Another one of Welch’s goals is to make campus police more approachable through the use of officers on bicycles and social media to “humanize all of us to the students.”
Overall, when it comes to Welch entering his new Tarleton home, he is ready to get started.
“I’m so excited. I can’t wait.”