Marisol Gamboa selected as new EIU Police Chief

Local News

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Lieutenant Marisol Gamboa will become Eastern Illinois University’s (EIU) new Chief of Police.

School officials said she will assume the duties of the role beginning January 4, 2022.

Gamboa has served as a full-time peace officer for 20 years, her past eight years focused exclusively on policing in the higher education environment.

“I am very excited to have been selected as EIU’s Chief of Police, and I look forward to partnering with the Charleston Police Department and the Coles County Sheriff’s Office,” Gamboa said. “Public and personal safety will always play an important role in keeping our campus and neighboring communities safe. I’m thrilled to work alongside these outstanding agencies who share my passion for law enforcement, its role in campus and community service, and who understand and embrace the unique opportunities and challenges of policing within a higher education community.”

“Eastern Illinois University is extremely pleased to welcome Chief Gamboa to our university and to the region,” said Dr. Anne Flaherty, vice president for Student Affairs. “Her knowledge of and dedication to law enforcement and community policing within the higher education setting will be of tremendous benefit to EIU and its surrounding communities.”

According to officials, Gamboa currently serves as Administrative Lieutenant at San Jacinto College in Houston. Prior to her time at San Jacinto College, Gamboa served the City of Freeport, Texas as police lieutenant. She also has held roles as patrol sergeant since first becoming a full-time police officer in 2002, and also spent 2 years as a deputy and police officer reserve member prior to 2002.

Gamboa is currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health from Midwestern State University, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Prior to her time at Midwestern State University, Gamboa earned an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice in 2007. She also has completed Leadership Command College Modules 1 and 2 at the Center of Executive Development (2019) and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (2021) at Texas A&M University.

EIU Public Information Coordinator Josh Reinhart stated, “Gamboa is the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She looks forward to inspiring those around her—including EIU students—with her positivity and passion for higher education. Many current EIU students share Gamboa’s experience as a first-generation, traditionally underrepresented student.”

“Representation is important in every classroom, every office, and every industry, including police work,” Gamboa said. “If I can be a positive role model for anyone in that regard, I’m extremely happy to do so.”

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