WT Police Department, Title IX Office Announce New Hires, Promotions


CANYON, Texas — The West Texas A&M University Police Department announces the promotions of two officers and a civilian employee. Plus, the University’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX has a new leader.

Kyle Hawbaker, who joined UPD in 2003, has been named assistant chief following the retirement of former Asst. Chief Robert Byrd.

Hawbaker, a full-time law enforcement officer since 1996, began his WT career as a patrol officer, then was promoted to corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He holds his master peace officer license from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Brandon Johnson, a full-time law enforcement officer since 2009, has been promoted to lieutenant at UPD. He began his career at WT in 2012. He earned his bachelor’s in political science at WT in 2018 and holds his master peace officer license from TCOLE.

Additionally, Krystal Czesnowski has joined UPD as its Clery Compliance Officer, responsible for reporting information about crime on and near the University in accordance to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Czesnowski joined WT’s Office of Accounting and Business in 2021. Prior to moving to the area, she owned and operated a business for more than 10 years in Seattle.

Relatedly, Nancy Hampton has been named director of the University’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.

Hampton served in WT’s Department of Human Resources since 2008, and for one year, concurrently served as director of Title IX compliance during the 2017-2018 academic year. Hampton earned her bachelor of business administration degree in 1988 and her master’s degree in counseling in 2013, both at WT.

“I am proud of these employees,” UPD Chief Shawn Burns said. “I feel it is better when you can recognize and promote from within, and because of our quality team at UPD, I feel confident that these employees will continue to be an asset to the WT family and help make UPD even better.”

“I am pleased with the all of these selections and promotions into leadership positions,” said Randy Rikel, vice president for business and finance, who oversees UPD and the Office of Civil Rights. “All four of these employees have proven to be great assets in their prior roles, and I know they will continue to do great things for West Texas A&M University.”

In 2022, SafeWise, a leading online site for all things safety and security, said that Canyon is the safest college town in Texas and the 21st-safest college town in America.

Previously, WT was ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 10 nationally by Your Local Security, a separate national security association.

Recruiting, rewarding and retaining the best faculty and staff and providing welcoming, student-centered facilities are key goals of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $115 million.


Photo: Newly promoted West Texas A&M University employees include, from left, University Police Department Lt. Brandon Johnson; Krystal Czesnowski, Clery Compliance Officer; Nancy Hampton, director of the University’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX; and UPD Asst. Chief Kyle Hawbaker.