Police Chief Christopher Shaw Named to "40 Under 40" List of Law Enforcement Leaders

October 16, 2023

He is sworn to serve and protect UNT Dallas students, faculty and staff at the main campus and the College of Law. Police Chief Christopher Shaw has been recognized for his commitment by law enforcement peers. Today, Chief Shaw accepted an award from the International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP) after being named as one of its “40 Under 40.” He was accompanied by Jeff Spivey, executive director of the Caruth Police Institute at UNT Dallas.

chief shaw and jeff spivey

The IACP annually honors 40 law enforcement professionals under age 40 from around the world who demonstrate leadership, exemplify commitment to their profession, and positively impact their communities and the field of policing.

The professionals chosen as the 2023 “40 Under 40” awardees represent emerging leaders of policing, regardless of rank. They serve their agencies and communities with excellence, whether they are civilian staff, line officers, supervisors or chiefs of police.

Chief Shaw, who has served as the UNT Dallas police chief since 2018, is one of only two North Texas officers and four in Texas chosen this year for the honor. “I entered this profession to be a change agent and catalyst for professional policing. I am extremely excited about the direction of the department and our successes in the areas of crime reduction, community engagement and police services,” said Chief Shaw. 

chief shaw

According to IACP,  the 2023 "40 Under 40" cadre each brings their own talents, personalities, and motivations to the policing profession while all sharing important characteristics – the spirit of collaboration, a drive to help others, innovation and creativity, leadership, and the desire to make a difference in their communities and profession. 

“Chief Shaw is not only widely respected and well-liked by his fellow officers and the UNT Dallas faculty, staff and students, but also by his peers and community members,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “He is known for his impeccable values and deep desire to bring the most effective safety and policing strategies to our campus and the surrounding community. We are delighted that Chief Shaw is being recognized by the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police.”

Chief Shaw’s journey in law enforcement began with his first job, working as a correctional officer while completing his bachelor’s degree in Arkansas. After college, he moved back to his hometown of Dallas, where he became a police officer at the University of North Texas in Denton in 2009.

chief shaw

Early on, Chief Shaw wore many different hats in addition to being a patrol officer. He was a criminal investigator and training coordinator and assisted with numerous administrative functions to review and update the department’s general orders and training materials.

After three years in Denton, Chief Shaw headed to UNT Dallas, where he was promoted in 2016 to interim Chief of Police and Emergency Management. Formally appointed Chief in 2018, he has increased the hiring of officers and led the effort to obtain certification for the department as a contractual training provider for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Chief Shaw has excelled at building relationships with surrounding agencies and has led several innovations to ensure a safe, secure, well-prepared campus. He is an active participant in the campus culture, including presenting at student and new employee orientations and coordinating safety programming and domestic violence awareness programs.

UNT Dallas police force

“We will continue to work collaboratively to ensure a safe working and learning environment for the UNT Dallas community and our stakeholders,” Chief Shaw said.

As the inaugural chair of the Campus Safety and Security Committee, Chief Shaw helped improve the campus’ video surveillance system and developed the framework for a new emergency notification broadcasting platform.

He serves on a number of advisory boards, is an active volunteer in his community, and is a member of numerous professional organizations. He is a 2022 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico and currently serves as an ambassador to the program.

Chief Shaw has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication/media studies from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Texas.