Curry Retires from University Police Department
Thelma Curry, Captain of Support Operations for the University Police Department, is retiring after 40 years.
Curry began her career at UPD in 1977, as a student worker. At the time, however, she said she never anticipated staying as long as she did.
“I had no idea I would be here this long,” Curry said. “I told the chief then I’d be here two years, just long enough to get my degree, but as time goes on, you just get involved with everything that’s going on on campus.”
While she admits 40 years is a long time, Curry said she never got tired of her job because of the students she was able to interact with and serve. During her time at UPD, Curry worked under seven different chiefs, as well as a host of chancellors and vice-chancellors.
The one thing that remained constant through all that change, she said, was the passion she has for her job.
“It’s challenging and means we work a lot of hours, but the people here have a passion for [their work],” she said. “Law enforcement is not one of those professions I take lightheartedly. You’ve got to love this.”
One thing Curry said she is proud of when it comes to her professional career is being part of a department transformation from reactive to proactive policing. Being involved with students, she said, is an integral part of what made her excited to come to work each day and what makes the department successful.
Curry has taught sections of the introductory freshman EDHE course, and fielded phonecalls with concerned parents. It all comes down to letting people at the university know UPD is there for them 24/7, she said.
“Knowing there are some students that I have helped in various ways… a lot of times, you do something and don’t even think about it,” Curry said. “Then a few days later you get a thank-you note. You’re just doing what you think is best, but they’re thanking you, and you can tell it comes from the heart.”
In her newfound free time, Curry said she plans to stay active in the community by volunteering and joining more groups at her church.
However, she admits the decision to leave, even after 40 years, was not an easy one.
“When they say this is one of the best workplaces, I can truly say that it is, but you have to put your heart into it and be involved with everything that’s going on and do your part,” Curry said. “I will miss this group of people.”