George Washington University Announces New Chief of Police

RaShall M. Brackney, a member of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police command staff, begins the job in June.

May 13, 2015

RaShall Brackney

The university has named RaShall Brackney as GW's new police chief.

RaShall M. Brackney, a 30-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, has been named chief of the George Washington University Police Department (GWPD).

Ms. Brackney will provide leadership for and management of GWPD’s functions and operations. She will start June 8. 

“Commander Brackney has a proven track record of implementing community-driven policing programs, which have reduced crime and improved relationships within the city she has committed to protect,” said Darrell Darnell, GW’s senior associate vice president for safety and security. “Her exceptional leadership skills, knowledge of training and development and commitment to keeping her community safe will be an asset in her new role as our police chief.”

GWPD is responsible for providing police and security services for the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and Virginia Science and Technology campuses. The department provides professional law enforcement services, progressive community policing strategies and hands-on education about personal and public safety.

Officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and provide patrol services by car, foot and bicycle.  

As commander in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Ms. Brackney currently oversees the Major Crimes Division within the Investigations Branch and is a liaison to several of the colleges and university police departments within her operations area. Throughout her 15-year tenure as a commander, she has been responsible for overseeing the operations of the Pittsburgh Municipal Court building, Uniform Crime Reports to the FBI, prisoner identification and processing, criminal records and criminal history expungements. Since 2001, she also has managed the Special Deployment Division, including the SWAT team, mounted patrol, accident investigation, hostage negotiations, river rescue, special events, traffic division, tow pound and the bomb squad.

“I am honored to be selected to lead GW’s police force,” Ms. Brackney said. “I look forward to fostering positive police-community relations on campus to mitigate crime and enhance community wellness.”   

Earlier in her career, Ms. Brackney was responsible for the development of lesson plans, training, scheduling and overall performance of the in-service training for veteran police officers and newly hired recruits, including police officers working for the colleges and universities within Pittsburgh’s city limits. Ms. Brackney also has instituted a crime analysis program and supervised the Pittsburgh’s police candidate recruitment efforts.

Ms. Brackney received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and is pursuing her doctorate in instructional management and leadership at Robert Morris University. Additionally, she has received numerous letters of recognition for her service and commitment to the community, including Omega Psi Phi Citizen of the Year Award, Carnegie Mellon University’s Otto A. Davis Award for racial/social justice, Alliance for Police Accountability’s Community Police Officer of the Year Award and the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing’s 2014 Peace Stepper Award.

GWPD maintains a close working relationship with the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department and GW’s officers also attend a Campus Public Safety Institute sponsored by the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. GWPD is an accredited Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) agency. This spring, the CALEA reaccredited GW’s police department. Less than 1 percent of college and university police departments are awarded CALEA accreditation. 

Ms. Brackney replaces former Chief Kevin Hay who retired last fall after a more than 30-year law enforcement career.