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Chief of Police, Greater Cleveland RTA

Dancing with Ahna Bonnette & Emma Janus

  • As Chief/Director of Security for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Police Department since May 2021, Deirdre R. Jones works tirelessly to strengthen the relationship between police and the community it serves.

    In her short tenure, Chief Jones introduced proactive policing strategies to enhance the safety and security for those who use the transit system. Chief Jones and her team created the Transit Ambassador program that consists of unarmed, uniform civilians with the goal of assisting riders and deterring crime. Transit Police also added four social workers to co-respond with officers to provide support and resources for those in crisis.

    To ensure transparency, Chief Jones and her team created the Civilian Oversight Committee. Once fully seated, the COC will review allegations of police misconduct and make appropriate recommendations.

    With her law enforcement career spanning almost four decades, Chief Jones retired from the Cleveland Division of Police holding the rank of Acting Deputy Chief of Administrative Operations, where she oversaw all administrative facets of the Division. As former Commander of the Bureau of Support Services, she worked to diversify the Division by engaging communities that had long been overlooked and was appointed the Department of Public Safety’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Liaison for its police and fire departments and EMS Services. Prior to her appointment to Commander, Deputy Chief Jones was the first female to ever supervise the Division’s Homicide Unit; served as Sergeant in the Integrity Control Section where she investigated allegations of misconduct and/or criminal behavior by Division members; and as a former detective and later Sergeant in charge of the Domestic Violence (DV) Unit, investigated thousands of domestic violence complaints and contributed to the unit’s Operations Manual. In addition to holding instructor certifications in Cultural Diversity/Procedural Justice DV, she is a federally certified DV Master Trainer through the Department of Homeland Security and continues to teach locally and nationally on DV, sexual assault/sexual harassment, and social responsibility-related topics at churches, schools, civic and government agencies, and professional organizations including the Cleveland Browns. She is also a Master Trainer in Active Bystander for Law Enforcement (ABLE) training, a nationally recognized police peer- intervention program.

    A former adjunct professor at Notre Dame College, Chief Jones holds a Master of Public Administration from Villanova University. She is a graduate of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Leadership College and completed the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center leadership programs. She served on the Cleveland Community Police Commission and on the Board of Directors at the LGBT Community Center. A member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Chief Jones contributed to the Ohio Chiefs of Police magazine and has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including Ohio Attorney General’s Mark Losey Service Award, the LGBT Heritage Award for public service, several Special Commendations, and the Medal of Heroism, the second-highest honor from the Cleveland Division of Police.

  • Why did you become an It Takes Two! celebrity dancer?

    Because Suzanne Hamilton "voluntold" me

    What about dance in general connects with you?

    The freedom to express myself. Dancing is also a great way to release stress.

    Why should people vote for you?

    Because I intend to win!

  • Favorite TV Show or Movie: Godzilla (1954)

    Favorite Book or Author: And the Band Played On

    Favorite genre of music: Jazz, Classical, New Age

    Favorite dessert: Birthday cake

    Name one thing on your bucket list: African Safari

    As a child, I wanted to be a: Roller Derby Skater or Police Officer

    When I am not working, I like to: Spend time with my family, travel, watch jeopardy, workout

  • My wife, Dabney Conwell, who participated in last year's event and gave me the courage to dance this year; My Beloved Mother, Louise (aka Kitten), as I am dancing in her memory; my Godson Ellis, who keeps me active!

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