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Chief Cheesebro to lead VACLEA

  • Closeup portrait shot of WMPD Chief Deb Cheesebro
    2020 VACLEA president:  William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro was elected president of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators in January. She previously served as an at-large member on their board.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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William & Mary Police Chief and Associate Vice President for Public Safety Deborah Cheesebro has been named president of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Cheesebro, who was elected to the post earlier this month, previously served as an at-large board member for the organization.

“Deb is an excellent choice to lead this organization,” said Sam Jones, senior vice president for finance and administration. “Her leadership, vision and commitment will serve them well.”

Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators logoVACLEA includes representatives from police, public safety and security agencies — primarily responsible for colleges and universities — from across the commonwealth. The position holds a one-year term, which began immediately.

“Having the opportunity to represent the many talented men and women serving in campus law enforcement and security across the state is certainly a privilege,” said Cheesebro. “It’s an added honor to do that representing William & Mary as well.”

Cheesebro came to the university as chief of police in 2014. She has an extensive background ranging from community policing, threat assessment and emergency management to strategic planning and organizational development.

Prior to coming to William & Mary she served as senior director of police, public safety and emergency management and director of police and public safety at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her previous experience also includes service as deputy director for the department of police and public safety at the University of Michigan, a law enforcement training specialist for the Michigan State Police Academy and a deputy sheriff with Michigan’s Ingham County Sheriff’s Office.

“Deb is ideally suited to provide state-wide leadership in this role and will represent both the law enforcement profession and the university with distinction,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler.

In addition to a Master of Science in criminal justice from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from West Virginia State University, Cheesebro holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and development from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Along with her work at VACLEA, Cheesebro is also a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

William & Mary will host VACLEA’s summer 2021 conference.