Norfolk, Va. (NPD) – The Norfolk Police Department is continuing to make historic strides with the promotion of a new Assistant Chief of Police.
Michele Naughton-Epps is living history as the Department’s highest-ranking African American female since being promoted to Assistant Chief of Police.
“Having overcame so many personal and professional challenges throughout her career, Assistant Chief Naughton-Epps is a true example of what is possible with perseverance and hard-work," said Chief Larry D. Boone. "And especially now as the law-enforcement profession is undergoing a period of reform, I know that Assistant Chief Naughton-Epps will not only be able to pull from her experiences to help move the department forward but will leave a lasting legacy for all those who come after her.”
Naughton-Epps has served with the Norfolk Police Department since 2002 when she graduated from the police academy. In 2000, the single mother made the life changing decision to relocate to Virginia from New York with the hope of achieving something more. After working in retail, Naughton-Epps was looking for a more fulfilling career, and at the recommendation of her mother decided to apply to become a police officer.
Naughton-Epps went on to do just that, even after suffering a serious knee injury during the academy almost threatened her chance. As a patrol officer, she relied on her own experiences of having been a single mother of three living in government housing to be able to relate to the residents in the underserved communities she patrolled.
In 2011, Naughton-Epps tested for promotion for the rank of Sergeant, and quickly emerged as a leader. She went on to earn both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration-Management (2013), and Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice (2018), from St. Leo University. Naughton-Epps is also a graduate of the Professional Executive Leadership School and the Southern Institutes Command Officer Development Course. She has also been recognized for her excellence in leadership and community outreach as the proud recipient of several community awards.
“To be in this position is not something I take lightly; my hope is that I am not only able to empower the next generation of female leaders, but I am also able to be an encouragement for anyone who may have obstacles to still overcome,” said Assistant Chief Naughton-Epps.
Naughton-Epps is currently assigned as the Assistant Chief of Police overseeing the Department’s Field Operations Bureau.