Officer Rick McCarter, a 23-year veteran of the UT Police Department, will retire this week. His last day of service to the University of Tennessee is June 2.
In almost a quarter century at UTPD, McCarter has worked night shifts and day shifts. He remembers a time when the department headquarters was on the space now occupied by UT’s Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. He also recalls when officers had walking beats and when they had to cross-train in different roles to support the university’s police operations.
Early in his UTPD career, he regularly worked a half shift as an officer and half shift as a dispatcher answering emergency calls.
McCarter came to the university through an invitation from then Police Chief Ed Yovella. While working special events at UT through another law enforcement agency, he became acquainted with Yovella, who offered him a job at UTPD.
Friendships with colleagues, especially with now-deceased UTPD Officer Steve Nelson, stick out among the treasured parts of the job.
“Steve Nelson was a good friend. I miss him a lot,” McCarter said. “When UT tore the old UTPD building down, Steve didn’t have a place to put his old locker so I put in my storage shed. I still have it.”
In retirement, McCarter, a Jefferson City, Tennessee, native wants to travel and practice more photography. He often takes pictures of nature scenes in and around his beloved Jefferson County.
“It’s beautiful here,” he said.