MSU names first woman police chief

December 19, 2006
Reported by Pam Dixon

Cinnamon Salvador has returned to the McNeese campus-- this time as the new director of university police. Salvador says, "McNeese is like a small city within a city. The police department here is just like any other police department."

Salvador, a McNeese psychology graduate, spent the last nine years working as an investigator and ultimately the lead investigator for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office. Before that she worked three years with probation and parole. She's an FBI training academy graduate and a firearms instructor. Salvador says, "I feel the campus here at McNeese is safe. We have several programs in place where if someone is here late at night and they feel like they need an escort to their vehicle, they can call the university police and we'll send someone out to walk with them."

While McNeese has already installed several safety features like dorm room panic buttons and emergency campus call boxes, Salvador says she would like to see cameras installed around campus. Salvador says, "We would have a picture if someone committed a crime on campus. We would have a good idea of what they looked like, maybe what kind of vehicle they were in and a license plate from that vehicle. It would help us solve crimes, but essentially we would like to prevent it altogether. So if these cameras will deter someone from committing a crime on campus, that's our ultimate goal."

Salvador didn't plan a career in law enforcement. But after college, her first job with probation and parole set her on that path, and in 12 years she hasn't looked back. She has just returned to where she started.

Salvador replaced David Benada, who served as McNeese's police chief almost nine years. Benada left in October for a job at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

On a side note-- when asked about her unusual first name, "Cinnamon," Salvador says when she was born, her father was in law enforcement and named her after a "Mission Impossible" TV character, named "Cinnamon Carter."

It must have been a sign.