West Hempstead resident breaks barriers as Stony Brook's first female police chief
Stony University appointed the college's first female chief of police this year.
West Hempstead resident Dawn Smallwood broke the barrier in January, becoming the first female police chief in the university's 65-year history.
"I came into law enforcement where there weren't many women and there certainly weren't many women of color," Smallwood says.
Smallwood has been working in the field from Naval Criminal Investigative Service to the FBI and to the CUNY public school system.
She then landed at Stony Brook, where she was promoted to assistant vice president for campus safety and chief of police.
"It's my daughters who keep reminding me that representation is not about me," Smallwood says "It's about seeing someone who looks like you, doing something you want to do."
One of the police chief's daughters graduated from Stony Brook University in 2015 with a degree in marine biology.
Smallwood manages a 170-person fully accredited police force that patrols the campus and provides security at Stony Brook University Hospital
"I want every parent that drives away after move-in day to feel like they're leaving their precious person in a safe place," Smallwood says.
Smallwood also hopes to strengthen relationships between students and law enforcement.