New Edinboro University Chief of Police Angela Vincent has taken over the position in a year where a relatively quiet community has suffered from relatively loud incidents. With two shootings in five months, along with one death, and the recent formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on Campus-Community Safety, it’s been a vastly different year for Edinboro crime.Despite this, Vincent plans to continue to provide a safe and secure environment that is conducive to the mission of the university.
“Edinboro University is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment for its students, employees, and visitors, but everyone plays a part. We encourage everyone to always be aware of your surroundings. Be diligent in preventing yourself from becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity, and to always report to police if you witness any suspicious activity,” said Vincent. In terms of state safety, Reading, Duquesne, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York and New Castle are among the most dangerous cities. At the top of the list is Chester, Pennsylvania with 56 violent crimes per 1,000 people in a community of roughly 34,000. And in the annual security report for Edinboro in 2013, the biggest issue was underage drinking. Crimes of opportunity such as theft and burglary followed suit.
Vincent has been around for these trends, having been a 26-year member of the Edinboro University Police. She was interim chief for seven months before securing the full-time job. Vincent was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Duquesne University in 1987. “Originally, I attended Duquesne University to go to law school. I took some criminal justice course and had a professor who was a retired Pittsburgh Police Department detective. He was a great influence in my changing career paths,” said Vincent. Vincent came to Edinboro in 1988 to serve as a security officer until she graduated from the Municipal Police Officers Training Academy that same year.
Through the years since then, she has worked in every law enforcement role on campus and now holds the chief position. “This is a much different experience, but one that I am honored and excited to undergo. It is an extraordinary responsibility to be accountable for an awesome group of officers, as well as the safety and security of the many students, employees and visitors to our campus. I do not take this task lightly and I pray that I do the best job that I possibly can,” said Vincent.
In addition to her work with the university police and within the campus community, the new chief is very active in the community and her church. She is a board member of The Word of Faith Development Corporation; chief operating officer of Victory Christian Center of Erie, as well as supervisor of its youth department and coordinator of its D.I.V.A.S. Dance Ministry; and board member of Bishop’s Institute of Applied Science and Biblical Studies. She has been recognized with a YMCA Black Achievers Award for Outstanding Performance and Community Service, an Appreciation of Service Award presented by Victory Christian Center Youth Department, and an Order of the Eastern Star Orpha Chapter #21 recognition for Outstanding Community Service. She was a recipient of the 2014 Humanitarian Award for Our Community Matters.
“Angela Vincent is an outstanding police officer and campus and community citizen and I very much value her dedication to Edinboro and to campus policing that is appreciative of and supportive of students,” said Edinboro University President Dr. Julie Wollman. “She is a key member of the campus Emergency Response Team and she is our leader in making sure the campus remains a frontrunner in safety and security. We have an exceptionally safe campus with a very low crime rate, so low that it’s hard to even measure increases or decreases,” added Wollman.
The new chief of police has a few words of advice for the student body. “In my experience, I believe that what I have learned the most is to treat others as you would like to be treated. This is so important in our line of work, a philosophy that I hope resonates through our entire department as well as the entire Edinboro University family.
Karlee Dies is the News Editor for The Spectator.