A man with a soft spoken voice and years of experience in his eyes sits across from me in the conference room of the Sam Houston University Police Department office. He speaks of his experience with Sam Houston and with prior law enforcement facilities he has worked with and shows that with hard work and determination you can accomplish anything.
Chief Charles W. Tackett was the UPD chief for 32 years. He has a combined experience of 55 years in law enforcement. Tackett is a son, a husband, a father and a grandfather.
Tackett entered his law enforcement career by taking an exam and being chosen by the city of Corpus Christi and started as a patrol officer and was assigned to traffic accident investigator, and then youth bureau.
“That was a good position because I got to know all the public officials and politicians in town,” said Tackett.
He moved his way up the law enforcement latter and even by passed the position of captain.
“I always wanted to be a captain,” said Tackett. He was promoted to Commander of Police, which was the navy status for top ranked officials.
He told of many stories and memories of his time in Corpus Christi. However, he was then given a full scholarship by the Governor of the State of Texas to complete his university degree at Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice.
“I was given the chance to be chief in Corpus Christi, but I declined it to take one year of leave to finish my degree,” said Tackett. He accepted the position of Director of the Department of Public Safety Services with SHSU in Aug. 1973.
“Dr. Bauers, the president of SHSU at the time, offered me the position, and I accepted,” said Tackett.
He is listed as the longest tenured police officer in the state of Texas. Tackett said the FBI has listed Sam Houston as one of the safest campuses.
Tackett has received years of experience through school and through the job. He received educational honors including being inducted into Alpha Chi scholarship society, and he is a member of the National Honor Society.
Tackett has been honored by many people and organizations professionally and personally. The Texas State University Board of Regents, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives are just a few of the agencies that have honored Tackett for his accomplishments.
Tackett has made many professional advances and accomplishments but has also had a wonderful life with his wife, Betty, and their two daughters, Cheryl and Charleen. When asked what he is going to do now that he is retired he replied, “I don’t know, I’ll find something.”
Tackett said he will remember all the young officers that have worked for the university and have advanced in their own careers.
“The best thing for the university is having these men and women working in law enforcement and moving their way up,” said Tackett.