Talladega College made history Friday afternoon, announcing the appointment of Shujuana L. Dennard as the first female police chief and director of campus security.
Dennard, an Anniston native, “is one of only a handful of females in our nation to rise to this level,” Talladega College President Dr. Billy Hawkins said in a news release. “She earned this position because of her exceptional knowledge, training, experience and skills.”
According to the release, Dennard spent four years in the Birmingham Police Department, where she worked with the Birmingham Narcotics Unit and Alabama ABC Board to reduce alcohol and drug sales. She later joined a task force which allowed her to work with federal agents, including U.S. Marshals; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration for about two years, according to the release. She was also involved in Birmingham Equally United, an organization composed of citizens and police officers dedicated to bridging the gap between the two groups.
Before launching her career in law enforcement, she attended Anniston High School and studied criminal justice at Jacksonville State University.
"We are living in times where women are rising in power and I am very grateful for those who paved the way for African-American women such as myself,” Dennard was quoted as saying in the release.
She said she has always had passion for law enforcement and a desire to make a difference for the betterment of her community.
In her new position, she will be responsible for maintaining the safety and security of Talladega College students, employees, facilities and property. The college security program includes all aspects of campus safety, including traffic management, loss prevention, emergency management and associated training programs, according to the release.
According to the college’s web site, “The Talladega College Police Department's mission is to enhance the quality of life at Talladega College by providing protection of life and property, including crime prevention, law enforcement, and service. The Talladega College Police Department recognizes that good public relations are a vital aspect of our role. Officers are expected to maintain high standards of conduct, and to perform proficiently in their duties. We pledge to improve our service by improving the skills of our officers through continuing education, in-service training programs, experience, and structured self-improvement programs.
Additionally, according to the website, "The Talladega College Police Department recognizes that meeting the needs of our students, faculty and staff is the top priority of the college. We are available 24-hours, 7 days a week to offer the necessary assistance in emergencies, either directly or through communication with both campus personnel and off campus agencies."