WACO, Texas – We’re closing out Women’s History Month speaking with Dr. Sheryl Victorian – who is making history of her own as Waco’s first African-American and female police chief.
When named Waco’s next top cop, Dr. Sheryl Victorian aimed to make an impact, not history – but this came with the job.
“I just hope that it’s an inspiration to our young women, our young girls, to my male counterparts, to their daughters and their sisters and their wives,” Dr. Victorian shared.
Nationally, women make up only about 12 percent of law enforcement agencies.
Chief Victorian is hoping to increase female presence within Waco PD through a ’30-by-30 initiative’ aimed at increasing women in departments by 30 percent by 2030.
In her swearing in ceremony, Chief Victorian shared her vision to make Waco a “model city for public safety and community partnerships.”
She elaborated on this goal saying through transparency, respect, engagement, and accountability this goal is well within reach.
“The more that they trust us, the more that they believe in us. The more that we engage with them, the more information we’ll likely receive to solve some of the crime that’s going on in our cities,” the chief shared.
We all learned last week what Dr. Victorian and the family of DPS Trooper Chad Walker knows well, the job as an officer at times comes with danger.
“The incident that happened this past Friday with Trooper Walker was very, very tragic, and it impacts law enforcement across this world anytime we lose an officer in line of duty death.
On the other hand, as court proceedings play out nationwide in the trial of ex-officer Derek Chauvin, she says trust and accountability among officers remain crucial.
“Anytime we see somebody tarnish this badge the way the officer did in Minneapolis with George Floyd, it causes disruption in all of the work we’ve been trying to do to build those community relationships,” said Dr. Victorian.
In this challenging climate, she’s encouraging Waco PD officers to be mindful of every interaction they have with citizens.
“Whether it’s with a complainant, a witness, or an offender, it is an opportunity for us to build trust,” Chief Victorian said.