Back in office, Chambers details Park Police priorities

Tuesday - 2/1/2011, 10:31am EST

Teresa Chambers, Chief, U.S. Park Police

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

As U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers settles back into the position, Federal News Radio asked her about immediate priorities and changes she's noticing on the job.

Said she plans to spend the next three to four weeks getting up to speed, "so that I'm not speaking based on old information, or I'm not going to a budget briefing with my bosses without a complete package. So it's going to be a very fast pace initially. But as I've looked through a briefing package (laughs,) I should say two briefing boxes of material the executive team pulled together for me last week, I realize that we're really in very solid shape right now with the team that's in place."

In the years Chambers has been away from the USPP, she hasn't been idle. As chief of the Riverdale Park (Md.) Police, she said she's been able to keep up to speed on what's available with regard to intelligence briefings and technology.

"That's the difference that I see that's very positive now," said Chambers. "It's not all about boots on the street. It's about the technology behind the scenes, about working smarter, and what are the results that we're going to be able to get. And that's what I'll be looking for over the next weeks."

Of course, weather won't wait for briefings. Chambers told Federal News Radio she's already learning about new technology.

"Just as you called, I was looking at morning briefings on my emails already and also listening to reports on the way in. I know that the Baltimore-Washington Parkway ramps had some slick spots this morning, and some ramp closures, and so we are watching it carefully. With technology so instantaneous, we're constantly updated here at headquarters where we can help make those decisions."

Chambers said she's already seeing other differences in the office as well.

"I think the fact that we're having this interview live this morning is a great indication that this is a very different administration and that they value openness and transparency in government. And so I'm so looking forward to working with the administration on behalf of the American people and advocate for my police officers and civilian employees. It's a very different atmosphere."

Asked what advice she has for people who feel they've been wronged, Chambers stressed her case has been different from most. She prevailed. It's not easy and it can be a struggle to carry on. It's a very personal decision, she said, which takes commitment.

"In my case, with my upbringing," said Chambers, "with my religious background, with my family values, this was a fight worth having, and of course victory feels wonderful, but more importantly it just feels comfortable. It feels as if I'm exactly where I should be today."

Teresa Chambers was sworn back in as the chief of the U.S. Park Police yesterday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.