Chantel Solis (Staff)

Chantel Solis stands in uniform in front of a university police vehicle near the stadium.

Officer Chantel Solis of the Mississippi State University Police Department always knew she wanted to serve and protect.

As a Starkville High School student, Solis was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, an experience that had her planning a military career after graduation. Though a health condition precluded military service, it did not lessen her desire to actively assist others.

In August of last year, Solis joined the university’s nationally accredited police department. After graduating from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in October, she underwent months of in-service campus training and now is preparing for her first full school-year on patrol.

“Instead of protecting and serving my country, I’m protecting and serving my community,” Solis said.

Though she is a new Mississippi State employee, Solis is not new to the university. A California native, she moved to the area in 1999 and grew up in the nearby Blackjack community. Over the years, she attended a number of summer camps on campus.

“My family is a die-hard Mississippi State family,” Solis said. “Being able to protect the students and serve Mississippi State has been a great experience for me.”

After her family was selected to receive a Habitat for Humanity home in 2008, she became interested in construction after watching and helping the construction volunteers.  That experience led her to become a Habitat volunteer herself, she added.

When not at work, Solis said she enjoys applying her creative skills to build different items. She currently is working on the design of her own future home, and the apartment where she resides features a bed, nightstand and other items she personally crafted.

Solis describes the MSUPD as a supportive extended family from which she has learned many valuable lessons. She gives particular credit to her commanding officer, Sgt. Charles Morton, a 20-year uniform veteran.

As she begins her own law enforcement career, Solis said she is committed to leaving a positive impression during every encounter with students, employees and campus visitors.

“When I receive a call, I treat the situation as if it were my family members, or if it was me that made the call and think about how I would want to be treated,” she said.