A warm, welcoming and popular presence is retiring from California State University, East Bay’s police force after six years of service.
CSUEB’s Chief of Police, Sheryl Boykins has dedicated over 30 years to policing the city of Hayward.
The Hayward native was a police officer for the Hayward Police Department for 28 years before she decided to chase her dream of becoming the Chief of Police.
“I always wanted to be, or at least wanted to see if I could, be a Chief. I didn’t want to go far away to do it, and I grew up in Hayward with law enforcement, so it was an easy transition from Hayward to [the CSUEB campus],” Boykins said.
Once Boykins’ dream of being Chief of Police became a reality, she began to develop her relationship with students and faculty in order to promote a strong connection between the campus and the police department.
“Every four or five years you get a whole turnover of people, so for me, that is wonderful, because you get to affect a whole new group of people,” said Boykins. “My idea is to change, especially young people who are educated, their opinion on law enforcement by how I treat people and how my department interacts with the campus community.”
Boykins is community-oriented in her policing and recognizes that there are certain issues that the police department has to keep in mind when working with CSUEB students.
“This is an era of [students’] lives where they are much more rebellious, they understand freedom of speech, they know what their rights are, and they are becoming independent thinkers and how they perceive law enforcement has a lot to do with how we interact with them,” said Boykins.
Boykins, alongside her community-oriented mindset, enjoys interacting with the community that she is policing. She describes herself as a people person who loves chatting with anyone that is around.
“I like people. I am always out on campus. I have my chief mobile and I drive up to students to ask them what they are doing and why they aren’t in class,” said Boykins. “Many [of the students] were just taken aback by that because most law enforcement, and chiefs especially, just don’t do that.”
Being Chief of Police is a difficult job that comes with late night phone calls, training and working with officers for long, tiresome work days. Boykins is ready to take a step back and smell the roses.
“I used to garden all the time, wonderful gardens, but I didn’t have time for it. I would leave here and I would be so tired,” Boykins said. “I don’t think that’s a good way to live, so I want to wake up without an alarm, I want to walk around in my pajamas for a couple of hours, I want to go out to the backyard and garden, and I want to go say ‘Hi’ to my neighbors and really mean it.”
Sheryl Boykin’s last day as Chief of Police at CSUEB is Nov. 29. The CSUEB administration is currently in the process of selecting the next Chief, who is expected to start at CSUEB in the spring semester.
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