‘She’s going to be a blessing’ – Sheryl Victorian makes history as Waco police chief

Ama Nunoo March 23, 2021
Dr. Sheryl Victorian is the first Black and first female police chief of Waco. Photo: ABC13

Dr. Sheryl Victorian has been named the chief of police for the City of Waco, Texas. With her wealth of experience and education, her appointment was a no-brainer for City Manager Bradley Ford as he recommended Victorian.

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, her historic appointment makes her Waco’s first Black and first female police chief.

Victorian began her law enforcement career as a police cadet in Houston in 1993. In 1995, she was recognized as the 100 Club of Houston’s “Rookie Officer of the Year”. She worked with the Houston Police department for 28 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief. On February 16, the Waco City Council voted unanimously to confirm Victorian as city’s police chief.

She was one of four finalists for the position after the department received 43 candidates from 17 states.

Of her nomination, she said, “It is a privilege and honor to have my name forwarded to the city council. Maintaining the trust of the community, adopting, and improving our department to meet the changing needs and demands of policing, and keeping our officers and citizens safe are my objectives from day one if council approves my selection.”

“It would be an honor to lead the department and I look forward to working proactively to keep Waco a great community to work, live and raise a family.”

Many gathered at the Waco Convention Center on the day of her swearing-in to witness a historic moment as Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, her former boss, pinned on her new badge.

“I will push to become the model city for public safety, and police-community partnerships, and building trust and legitimacy in policing,” Chief Victorian said to the crowd.

Not only does being the first Black female chief bring diversity to the role, but Victorian’s innovation over the years in whatever capacity she has served is also always in tandem with her community’s vision and she always delivers.

“Sheryl’s depth of hands-on management experience, her educational background, and her support for innovative programs all stood out,” Ford said.

“Sheryl shared our community’s vision for a leader who embraces continuous improvement, community policing, and a commitment to serving and protecting all of our citizens.”

Victorian holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Houston, and a doctorate in Administration of Justice, also from Texas Southern University.

Aside from heading the City of Waco police department, Chief Victorian is also an assistant professor at Southern New Hampshire University where she teaches Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice, Ethics, and the Graduate Capstone course, according to the city’s site.

Talk of a decorated police chief, Victorian is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and numerous nationally accredited leadership programs. She holds a Texas Master Peace Officer’s license and has received numerous awards and commendations over her career with Houston PD, KXXV reports.

Waco NAACP President Dr. Peaches Henry did not miss the swearing-in ceremony because she has openly supported Chief Victorian not just because she is Black and a woman but because she has all the experience and qualifications to head the City of Waco’s police department.

“The fact that she is African-American, and female is wonderful, but without all of her outstanding qualifications, it would be meaningless. So, we are delighted to see her,” Henry said.

Chief Victorian is now the 28th police chief heading the department with 266 commissioned officers and 100 civilian staff. She’s going to be a blessing. I’m so happy for her and Waco,” Houston Police Chief Acevedo told FOX44.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 23, 2021


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