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Capt. Jim Coffey to retire

Capt. Jim Coffey

Capt. James ‘Jim’ Coffey, above, has worked for three decades to make nearly every event at UNT the best it could be. He has helped plan, assigned officers and done many tasks no one thinks about. 

Coffey, above, will retire on Aug. 28, marking 30 years of service and dedication to the UNT Police Department.

“I loved all the major events,” said Coffey, “I loved everything about them -- the planning beforehand, the activities the day of, meeting the VIPs, working with all the stakeholders.”

Path to UNT

Coffey was raised in Argyle, where he hunted, fished and raised racing pigeons all while dreaming of being in finance just like his father.

Following that example he registered at UNT as a finance major in 1983 and was happy with it right up until he took his first class twice. Finding that finance studies were not to his liking, he switched his major to business administration with an emphasis on organizational behavior.

He left UNT to attend Abilene Christian University for a year, then returned to UNT. He graduated in 1993 after taking a few semesters off to spend time with his family and attend the police academy.

At UNT, he worked as a student employee community service officer and later worked as a full-time dispatcher. As a dispatcher he answered phones, talked on the radio and worked with visitors at the window.

“I loved [being a dispatcher] because it was very multi-task oriented,” said Coffey. “It really fit my skills and abilities.”

Coffey only became a police officer because he had a family to support and wanted to do something he enjoyed.

“I loved being a CSO and dispatcher so it was an easy transition,” said Coffey. “I often say I have never really worked a day in my life. I can’t believe they pay me to do what I do!”

Managing events

Coffey is one of 44 officers in the UNT Police Department, which is nationally accredited.

“Capt. Coffey has been an invaluable contributor to UNT campus life,” said Christa Coffey, director of Student Activities and no relation to Jim Coffey.

She said he has carried on UNT’s traditions by knowing everything about major university functions and student organization events. He knows what works and what doesn’t, and he lets UNT and student know how to improve events for the next year.

 After his retirement, Jim Coffey plans to return and work part-time at the UNT Police Department, continue teaching Concealed Handgun License classes and become a contract background investigator for the Office of Personnel Management.

“I will miss the daily interaction and involvement in so many great people’s lives,” he said. “Seeing my co-workers grow and develop both personally and professionally over all these years has been so heartwarming.”

- Jennifer Pache, URCM student assistant

Posted on: Thu 13 August 2015

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