Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Paradis Comes to UMMC

 UMMC issued the following statement.


JACKSON, Miss. – When she graduated from the Chicago Police Training Academy, Mary Eileen Paradis was merely following her family tradition. 

Her father had been a police officer in Chicago. Her grandfather, great-grandfather, several uncles and a niece also had, or are having, distinguished careers in law enforcement. 

What made Paradis (pronounced “para-dee”) stand out among her policing peers was not the fact she was a fourth generation “cop” – it was the fact she was a first-generation “lady cop.” 

 “That was something new in Chicago,” Paradis said with a spirited laugh. When she became a police officer serving the Windy City’s South Side, she was one of the first female law enforcement officials in her district - which included famous Comiskey Park, home of her beloved Chicago White Sox. 

“When I worked patrol in the South Side, there were some tough neighborhoods,” she said. “People really wanted to see the police there – they embraced the police. It was new to them that a female would be responding to their call(s). They often used the term ‘lady police’ to describe me. 

Paradis chose not to take offense. 

“We (female officers) were like this new thing,” she said. “It was something for people to adapt to. I do not think there were really any hard feelings or anything, but I had to go in with my eyes open and know they probably had not encountered female officers before.” 

“Once they got used to me, I was greeted with open arms. Once they become accustomed to you, people become very accepting of you.” 

She was even able to turn the occupational challenge into an advantage. 

“At times, I may have been the only female officer working the whole shift in two districts. It was unique in a way because people embraced us.” 

“Children and female victims of crime often made eye contact with you and were more open to approaching you because you were a female. There was like this automatic maternal bond with them.” 

More than 30 years after she first started patrolling the city streets of Chicago, Paradis is still someone new: the first female Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Police Department. She brings with her vast experiences she has accumulated throughout an impressive career in law enforcement, public safety and emergency management, commencing on the city streets of Chicago, then at some of the largest and most name recognizable corporate properties near and in the Nation’s Capital, and ultimately in the halls of academia. 

Law enforcement and public safety is more than an occupation for Paradis – it is a way of life for her immediate family. Her husband, Peter Paradis Sr., a former police officer and current career federal agent, works within the Federal Inspectors General community.  

The couple’s oldest son, Peter Paradis Jr., is a recent graduate of Longwood University’s Criminal Justice program and, after having served as a volunteer Firefighter throughout his collegiate career, is enrolled in the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy where he is completing training to be a Certified Deputy Sheriff with the Goochland County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office.  Only youngest son, Patrick Paradis, seemingly has steered away “for now” from the law enforcement calling. He is a senior at the University of South Carolina, completing a double business major in finance and economics. 

Peter Sr.’s federal agent career was the catalyst for Paradis’ move away from Chicago to Washington, D.C., where she sharpened her law enforcement, public safety and emergency management expertise in different industries in and around the Nation’s Capital. It was not until she became the interim Police Chief at the George Washington University (GWU) that she found a calling in the academic arena. 

She obtained her Bachelor of Professional Studies in Police and Security Studies, and her Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management, from GWU; also earning the Distinguished Scholar Award, the Academic Achievement Award and the Dr. Richard F. Southby Police and Science Prize. She admits pursuing an advanced degree, working in law enforcement administration and serving as a full-time mother to a couple of teenagers was quite challenging. 


“It was a balancing act,” she said. “But working in higher education, you are surrounded by educators, and it is really hard not to get the education ‘bug.’ I had a lot of undergraduate and postgraduate students who worked for me. It was a very active life, but there was a desire, a burning in my heart, to get an advanced degree.” 

“Working in higher education, how could I, as a chief, expect to provide career development for my personnel, to encourage them to move forward with their own education, if I was not doing the same thing?” 

As it turns out, education, like law enforcement, is a family tradition for Paradis. 

“My grandmother and my aunt were educators,” she said. “In my ‘then’ world, you were either a teacher or you were a police officer. They kind of go hand-in-hand. We are here to serve people, whether in education or law enforcement, and I have the utmost respect for teachers, as I do first responders.” 

Paradis was serving as an assistant vice president of safety and security at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, overseeing the Office of Safety and Emergency Management, when Dr. Jonathan Wilson, UMMC chief administrative officer, approached her about leading UMMC’s Police Department. She admits she was not too familiar with UMMC, but soon discovered a passion for the institution, its people - and its purpose. 

“Dr. Wilson is the most genuine boss I have ever worked for in my career,” Paradis said. “He has ‘clinical side’ experience with emergency management and exhibits the utmost recognition and respect for the need for ‘public safety’ as a whole. I was initially drawn to UMMC because of him.” 

Wilson said extensive experience in public safety, particularly in a higher education setting, made Paradis the best choice for leading the Campus Police and public safety at UMMC. 

“Chief Paradis understands how to ensure a safe campus for students, employees and the patients and families we serve. She has been a visionary leader throughout her distinguished career, and I have confidence she will support the department’s mission to enhance the quality of life on campus by working cooperatively with Medical Center leaders to provide for a safe environment,” he said. 

“I have been doing this type of work for 35 years, and I have never received a warmer welcome than I have from the UMMC community,” Paradis said. “You do not get that in all places. The institution’s leaders, including Dr. LouAnn Woodward (Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs) and Dr. Patrick Smith (Chief Faculty Affairs Officer), are all really committed to what they are doing: educating the health care leaders of tomorrow, conducting state-of-the art research and providing the best health care available in the state of Mississippi.” 

“I do not know if you realize what a truly phenomenal team you have here in Mississippi.” 

Paradis said one of her first major priorities at UMMC is to work toward obtaining accreditation for the Police Department. That goal seems a natural, considering her twin legacies in education and law enforcement. 

“The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is the gold standard,” Paradis said. “When you are talking about higher education, everything is accredited. Why would we not have the UMMC Police Department obtain the highest level of accreditation as well?” 

“CALEA raises the bar for what we do with our policies and procedures, standards and training.” 

“Right now, seeking (CALEA) accreditation is something that will move us in the right direction to operate at our optimal performance level. That is something that is important to me as a leader and as a chief.” 

What is also important to her as the department’s new leader is collaboration with her staff. She said she has received a warm welcome from everyone. “I had only been here a week, but two female officers stopped me and said they were so excited to hear that our next police chief was a woman. It was kind of neat. That made me feel good. I can talk about diversity and inclusion based on my role in Chicago and knowing what it is like to be ‘different.’” 

“Now females in this profession seem kind of mainstream - I think women compose about 13 percent of sworn officers in law enforcement now. When I was in Chicago, it was more like .01 percent. We are making inroads, but at a much slower pace than say the military.” 

Chief Paradis said her aim for Police Department personnel at UMMC is to demonstrate the values of the UMMC community 

“My reputation is built on transparency, trust and integrity,” Paradis said. “My goal is to have the Police Department become part of the intertwined fabric of UMMC, not a ‘silo’ sub-organization.” 

“Another goal of mine is to bring diversity, through inclusivity, into the department to mirror more the community we serve. I am all about education, and I am all about our commitment to the UMMC community.” 


Anonymous said...

Uhhh huh.

Anonymous said...

I see a lot about diversity for the sake of diversity and very little about actual law enforcement achievement or plans to increase the competency of the department. I'm also not sure changing the department to match the community is a good idea when the community is a per capita murder capitol of the country and a bastion of corruption.

Anonymous said...

All the things she brings with her to the job, she failed to include chaos.

Anonymous said...

Guess she's gonna be firing all the white guys and busting Doctors who don't believe in vaccine mandates ?

Anonymous said...

Wish her the best, but Good Luck with that. Can see a bunch of new openings coming about.

Anonymous said...

“Another goal of mine is to bring diversity, through inclusivity, into the department to mirror more the community we serve...."

uh oh.... how about your goal is "keeping employees, patients and visitors safe"

"diversity" and "inclusivity" Marxist buzzwords

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, tl;dr

Geez, Kingfish. Your average reader is a Mississippian on a 3rd-4th grade reading level and attention span. Cater to your audience please (me).

Anonymous said...

I see the perception of diversity and inclusivity for the sake of political correctness. I wonder how many felony arrests that she has made without a backup? All that I see on police TV programs are female cops leading from the rear - always.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what your relatives/ancestors have done. What have you done? Ever walked/patrolled a beat by yourself and made felony arrests, by yourself? Brought a case to trial from start to finish, by yourself?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that most everything that occurs in Jackson/Hinds has either Detroit or Chicago ties? It would seem that baby chokeweed's daddy brought all of this here. Why not hire a school board president or a police chief from, let's say, Billings, Montana or Provo, Utah?

Anonymous said...

@12:41 pm.... yes enforcing vaccine mandate will be a large part of UMMC police force in the near future.. Woodward is all about some masking, vaxing and talking a bunch of shit.. this cop will serve as her gestapo

Anonymous said...

3:11 ....lol

Anonymous said...


is this really newsworthy?

Sideline watching said...

I’m sure there were plenty other qualified individuals here in the Mississippi Law Enforcement arena that were overlooked for this selection.

Anonymous said...

What a shame it is that UMMC doesn't give similar exposure to all the great health care professionals that actually save peoples' lives. Instead, they do a press rambling about an upgraded security guard.

Anonymous said...

1: What does her gender have to do with it?
2: It's great that she has a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Police and Security Studies, and a Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management, but does she have any knowledge of how to work with people?
3: Diversity? B.S. Hire competent officers, period.
4: What is she going to do about all the Barney Fifes she already has? There seems to be a LOT of them. Perhaps UMMC campus cops are the repository for officers who can't cut it at a real department.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish always vetoes any post about the JSU Traffic Cop who became Jackson Chief of POPO. Wonder why? Hell, the man who hired her is dead, is he not. Who is the Fish beholden to?

Kingfish said...

Because it never has anything to do with the post. Try staying on topic.

Wow said...

KF maybe make a post about how everyone in the UMMC Vice Chancellor's office comes from Emergency Medicine. Lack of perspective. Joke.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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