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EIU Media Relations

EIU Police Chief Marisol Gamboa earns CAWLE award


(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University Police Chief Marisol Gamboa recently earned praise and recognition from her colleagues as a 2024 recipient of a Chicago Association of Women in Law Enforcement (CAWLE) award during the association’s annual women’s history event in Chicago last month.

"On behalf of EIU, I thank Chief Gamboa for her commitment to service leadership and to EIU as we celebrate her Chicago Association of Women in Law Enforcement award,” said EIU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Anne Flaherty upon hearing of Chief Gamboa’s award. “I, along with President Gatrell and the entire EIU community, are grateful to have Chief Gamboa as leader of our University Police Department. The progress she has made in changing the culture and instilling a spirit of community policing has been significant.” 

[PHOTO, LEFT:] CAWLE president Janice Brown presented Gamboa with the award at the annual CAWLE women’s history event in Chicago in late March. During the event, Chief Gamboa, along with her husband and daughter, was seated with Elgin Chief of Police Ana Lalley, the keynote speaker, whose theme came from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, "Dare mighty things." Gamboa also sat with Chicago Superintendent of Police Larry Snelling.

Following the recognition, Gamboa’s colleague Sgt. Jo Ann Armenta, retired member of the Illinois State Police, also shared her thoughts on Gamboa’s award in an email to EIU leadership:

“As a proud Latina in law enforcement, I cannot tell you how important it was to me and other Latinas in law enforcement to have Chief Gamboa there to be recognized by so many police VIPs, and to serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for other Latinas,” Armenta’s email detailed.

According to its website, CAWLE is “devoted to providing a positive platform for sworn and retired women in criminal justice to network, invoke conversations about progress, goals, achievements, as well as provide mentoring and educational services, while preserving the history of women in law enforcement.”

EIU’s Chief Gamboa is a first-generation American and college graduate who grew up wanting to make her parents proud and give back to the community. Gamboa joined the force as a patrol officer in a small Texas town before climbing the ranks to lieutenant, then relocating to Illinois to take on the roles and responsibilities as Chief of Police at EIU. She is the first Latina police chief in the State of Illinois.

EIU prepares students to accomplish their life goals through a combination of quality academics, personal relationships, and both on-campus and online learning opportunities. For more information about Eastern Illinois University, including its broad array of academic and career readiness programs, or any of EIU’s other community-based services and opportunities, visit or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart,
Public Information Coordinator

Booth House
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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