College appoints Deborah Cheesebro as first female campus police chief

The College of William and Mary named a new campus police chief, Deborah Cheesebro, earlier this month. Cheesebro is the first-ever female police chief at the College and will begin working Sept. 15.

Previously, Cheesebro served as senior director of police at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She also worked at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she served as senior director of public safety and emergency management and as deputy director of public safety.

“My philosophy as a [police] chief in a campus environment is that you need to be very responsive to the community. … The day-to-day interactions with the officers really need to be focused on facilitating safety, service and that we are helping students, faculty and staff be able to do their jobs,” Cheesebro said.

Previous chief Don Challis resigned from the position in March. Cheesebro will succeed acting chief Captain Ed Schardein.

A Boston, Ma. native, Cheesebro commended Challis and Schardein for their successful perfomances thus far and emphasized the importance of staying community oriented.

“I’ll be coming in and trying to make an assessment of what is currently there and what is currently done. … I think it’s important that ideas for any additional changes or areas where we can be even stronger come, not just from the chief, but also from the department and the community,” Cheesebro said.

After working at two other university campuses, Cheesebro shared her thoughts about moving to Williamsburg in two weeks.

“I have an awful lot of respect for the College of William and Mary and particularly for the student population,” Cheesebro said. “I think, when you look at the demographics of the student population, certainly this is the cream of the crop and I look forward to being able to facilitate the work of the students.”


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