A time capsule filled to the brim with photos and present-day artifacts was sealed within the red brick walls of what will soon be the new home of the Tarleton State University Police Department.
Chief of Police Matt Welch, along with several university police officers, staff and student workers, gathered March 31 to witness the placement of the time capsule—a small metal lock box—inside a brick column at the renovated building on the corner of Harbin and Frey streets.
The idea of a time capsule was Welch’s brainchild. The police and parking office staff will move to the former Stephenville fire station later this spring when renovations are complete.
Welch drafted a letter, dated March 31, 2017, and included the note with several items from this year, which also marks Tarleton’s centennial anniversary as a founding member of The Texas A&M University System.
“This is a time capsule for the Tarleton State University Police Department dedication of the PD’s first stand-alone building,” wrote the chief of police. “This building was originally constructed for Stephenville Fire Department in the 1970s and repurposed for the (Tarleton) Police Department in 2017.
“The occupants of this building may no longer be alive when this is eventually discovered but due to the public service nature of this building, the impact its occupants had on the residents in Stephenville will stand longer than this building did,” the note states.
Welch did not place a timeframe for when the time capsule will be unsealed, and is unsure when or how it may be discovered many years from now. “We hope that Tarleton State University is alive and well,” he wrote. “God Speed, Tarleton!”
Additional contents placed inside the metal time capsule include: a group photograph of the Tarleton police force and administrative support staff in front of the university’s Administration Building; a recent copy of The J-TAC campus newspaper; copies of three major news story headlines published by The Wall Street Journal, FOX News and NASDAQ on March 31, 2017; a Tarleton Police Department patch; a Junior Officer sticker; several police and parking brochures and a campus parking map; and a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) flier.
“We are commemorating Tarleton’s 100th year as member of the A&M System and relocating our police department’s headquarters in 2017, so we figured a ‘snapshot in time’ would be fitting with the placement of a time capsule in the university police department’s new home,” said Welch. “Who knows what folks will think when it’s opened again?”