University Police Staff

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C. Meshia Thomas
Chief of Police
and Director of Public Safety Chief ” Meshia”

Thomas has 20 years of law enforcement experience. She began her career with the University of Tennessee Police Department at the Knoxville campus during 2001 through 2013 as a dispatcher and rose through the ranks serving in a variety of position such as patrol officer assigned to Community Relations Unit, Sergeant assigned to Investigations, and Lieutenant assigned to patrol. She was selected on three occasions to represent serve on the Police Chief Search Committees. She has always supported the communities in which she has served and protected. Her experiences in the Knoxville community includes serving on several Boards (Sexual Assault Crisis Center and Sertoma Center) as well as the campus community (i.e. Safety Committee, Women’s Athletic Liaison, LGBTQ Ally Commission Member, and Commission for Blacks). Her role also allowed her the opportunity to facilitate and implement training and educational programs for both police and community members (such as RAD Systems self-defense, Personal Safety, Theft Prevention, New Faculty/Staff and Student Orientation).
In 2013, she joined the University of Chicago Police| Department of Safety & Security, serving as one of four Captains who oversaw a patrol squad of approximately 15 sworn officers. During her time at the University of Chicago; she taught RAD self-defense systems, and participated in a mentoring program at University of Chicago Charter Donoghue Campus.

In 2016, She joined the Vanderbilt University Police Department as a Captain assigned to Special Operations/Auxiliary Services. Her oversight and responsibilities included Fleet & Equipment Management, K-9 Team, Background Investigations, Training, Special Events, Communications and Records Unit. In 2018; she was assigned the role of Accreditation Manager/Professional Standards where she and her team helped to guide the Campus Police Department to be granted a fourth Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., for its Communication/Dispatch Center.

She is a graduate of Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) located in Nashville, Tennessee. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bethel University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Tennessee State University. She is a member of TACP - Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, IAHSS - International Association of Hospital Safety and Security, NOBLE - National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives and NAWLEE-National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives.

In July 2019, she began her new position with Virginia Union University.

Message from the Chief:

“On behalf of the VUU Police Department, my team and I would like to welcome everyone to our campus. I am proud to say that Virginia Union University Police & Public Safety is a diverse agency and we arecommitted to providing a safe and secure campus environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.I am sure that many of you are concerned about your safety on and around campus during these uncertain times, and my team and I want to assure you that we are committed to your safety and security. We are here to support you whether you are a student, staff or faculty member or a guest at our university. Please feel free to reach out to me or my Command Staff for questions or concerns.

Sincerely,C. Meshia Thomas
Chief of Police, Director of Public Safety

VUU Campus Police Staff

Major Robby Cottrell  
Deputy Chief of Police
1500 N. Lombardy Street
Virginia Union University, VA 23220
804-257-5600 or 800-368-3227
Fax: 804-342-3511