Marcus Lewis, UTA alumnus and adjunct professor in the UTA Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, has been promoted to Chief of Police at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Chief Lewis has spent his 18-year law enforcement career in dedicated service to UT Southwestern Medical Center and has been serving in the role of interim chief since the retirement of Chief Thomas Bickers earlier this year. We caught up with Chief Lewis to find out more about the promotion and his time at UTA in his own words.
Being promoted to Chief of Police at UT Southwestern is first and foremost a humbling honor. It means I have been given the responsibility of upholding the public trust in the police, investing in the growth and development of all members of the department and ultimately accountable for providing protection to UT Southwestern so the institution may continue to conduct world-class health care, education and research.
The Master of Arts in Criminology Program at UTA provided me with a theoretical understanding of the many scholarly thoughts on why people offend. This provided me a backdrop against which to evaluate crime fighting and crime prevention strategies based on longitudinal and cross-sectional academic research. Additionally, the program’s focus on the intersection of policy, gender and race broadened my thought processes regarding unanticipated second and third order effects of criminal justice practices. All of these facets enable me to arrive at well informed and supported thoughts that go well beyond much of the typical rhetoric often encountered in the profession and in society at large.
As an adjunct professor at UTA, I am preparing my students for the workforce by developing the critical thinking and writing skills of my students. I simply use criminological theory as the medium through which to develop those skills. I realize that most of my students will not continue on to be researchers in criminology. For them, the regurgitation of names, dates and theories is a chore. I attempt to challenge them to think beyond the theories as presented in class. I ask them to really evaluate the theories presented and find ways to support or refute them. I encourage them to question everything; to accept nothing at face value and to arrive at informed decisions based on their own research and evaluation rather than simply accepting what has been told to them. I also work with my students to develop a research based professional writing style that will hopefully be help them produce competent and impressive written briefs, white-papers or full scale business research.
I feel that what students learn in my class should extend well beyond the classroom. It should enrich their lives, develop them as people and make them more valuable to the workforce after graduation.