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African American woman named chief of United States Park Police for first time in agency's history

Pamela Smith.png
Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 13:55:47-05

WASHINGTON — An African American woman has been named chief of the United States Park Police for the first time in the agency's history.

The National Park Service today announced that Pamela A. Smith has been named the new Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP).

Smith, a 23-year veteran of the USPP, becomes the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency. She will begin her new role on February 28.

“I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as Chief of Police,” said Chief Smith. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”

In one of her first actions, Chief Smith will establish a body-worn camera program for USPP within 90 days. The program will initially begin in San Francisco and be implemented across the country by the end of the year.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” said Chief Smith. “This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”

Smith has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.

She was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.