Waco swears in city’s first Black and first female police chief

'The City of Waco, thank you thank you thank you so much for embracing me,' said Dr. Sheryl Victorian

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The city of Waco, Texas has officially sworn in Dr. Sheryl Victorian as its first Black and first woman police chief.

According to ABC 25, Victorian is Waco’s 28th police chief. She will lead a department with 266 commissioned officers and approximately 100 civilian staff. Victorian has a 27-year career with the Houston Police Department where she worked her way up from cadet to assistant chief.

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“The City of Waco, thank you thank you thank you so much for embracing me. I look forward to each and every one of you and our community partners who are watching to join in with the Waco PD and our push to become the model city for public safety and police community partnership in building trust and legitimacy in policing,” Victorian remarked, according to ABC.

Dr. Sheryl Victorian www.theGrio.com
Image via Waco Police

City leaders in Waco expressed excitement to have Victorian step into her new role.

“I think it’ll have a monumental impact on our community on our young girls, especially young African American girls, to see someone in leadership that looks like them,” said Andrea Barefield of Waco’s City Council District 1. Barefield’s mother was the first Black woman to be mayor of Waco.

“We learned a long time ago that things that seemed impossible aren’t necessarily so and we have been making monumental steps and Waco is no different…that time is coming each and every day,” Barefield continued. “Without question, whether her name was on the top of her resume or not, her credentials line up with exactly what the City of Waco needs to lead its police department.”

According to the Waco Police website, Victorian is a native Texan and as earned many awards and commendations for her service and dedication as a police professional.  During her tenure, she was recognized as the 100 Club of Houston’s “Rookie Officer of the Year” in 1995, and she earned a Life Saving Award, an Award of Excellence, Chief Unit Citations, and many Citizen and Chief of Police commendations.

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Victorian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University, a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston – Downtown, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University.  She is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy (FBINA) session #267, a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) scholar, and a current fellow of American Leadership Forum’s class XLVII (47).

The department gave Victorian a warm welcome on Twitter.

“Today we here at Waco PD are excited for what is to come!” the department wrote. “Today is day 1 for Chief Sheryl Victorian! She has a busy week ahead but we know that she will tackle her new challenges with excellence and poise! Welcome to Waco PD Chief Victorian!!!”

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