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Miami Proud: Pembroke Park Police Chief RaShana Dabney-Donovan loves job, people she serves

Miami Proud: Pembroke Park Police Chief RaShana Dabney-Donovan is trailblazer on so many levels
Miami Proud: Pembroke Park Police Chief RaShana Dabney-Donovan is trailblazer on so many levels 02:36

MIAMI -- The new chief of the Pembroke Park Police Department RaShana Dabney-Donovan told CBS News Miami she loves the community, the people she works with, and the people she works for. 

Dabney-Donovan is often seen out and about, connecting with the people she serves.

"I still feel like this is my purpose. I feel like I am called to do this," she said.  

The new chief was born and raised in Miami-Dade County. Earlier in her life her career goals were a little different, she envisioned herself on the big screen.

"When I was younger I wanted to be an actress. I graduated from a school of the arts in downtown Miami. It's almost like fame if you remember that TV show," she said.

She realized a career in acting really wasn't for her. From there, she says one thing after another fell into place.

"My mom saw an ad in the newspaper for a community service aid in the City of Hallandale Beach. I said well, I'll go give it a try. Let me apply and see what happens and I actually got the job," said Dabney-Donovan.  

She said in June of 2000 she went into the police academy and graduated in October of that year, becoming the first Black female police officer for the city.

"Worked the role for a couple of years on midnight shift. I absolutely loved it but that little bug called acting was sitting on my shoulder and screaming in my ear. So I thought where can I go to express my talent?" she said.

Dabney-Donovan started working undercover. In 2011, she became a sergeant, in 2015, she became captain and retired as a captain in 2021, but retirement didn't last for long. 

"Then I got a call a few months later from the town of Pembroke Park, inviting me to come and assist with opening up a new police agency. At first, I was like no, no, no I'm good. But you know, after meditating and praying about it and talking to the Chief at the time, for several days, about what I would bring, what I could bring to the table, I said okay, why not," said Dabney-Donovan.

Chief RaShana Dabney-Donovan has been on the job for about six months now, so she says she's just getting started but looks forward to a long career as the Chief of the Pembroke Park Police Department. 

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