One of MARTA’s leaders is calling it quits after spending 34 years with the transit agency.

Wanda Y. Dunham, chief of system safety, security and emergency management, is retiring effective May 15, according to a news release.

She started her career with the MARTA Police Department as a uniform patrol officer and worked her way up the ladder in the coming years. Dunham served in several other roles, including as a commander in the criminal investigations unit and internal affairs. She is the longest-serving law enforcement officer in the department’s 43-year history.

In May 2006, Dunham made history with her appointment as MARTA’s chief of police/assistant general manager, becoming the first African-American and woman to hold this position.

“I am proud of the accomplishments that the MARTA Police Department has made over the past 14 years during my time as chief, and I am extremely thankful for all the professional opportunities I had along the way,” she said in the release. “It has been an honor to serve the customers of MARTA over the last 34 years, and I know the men and women of the MARTA Police Department will continue to deliver first-class customer service.”

In September 2018, Dunham made history again when she was promoted to MARTA’s C-suite as chief of system safety, security and emergency management. As a member of MARTA’s executive team, Dunham was granted expanded areas of responsibility, including the department of safety and quality assurance and the office of the chief information security office.

“I am incredibly thankful for Chief Dunham’s hard work and commitment over the last three decades, providing critical leadership around MARTA’s most important and impactful events,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in the release. “Thanks to her guidance, MARTA remains one of the safest transit agencies in the country. Her legacy and accomplishments will be lasting.”

During her tenure as chief, MARTA earned consecutive Gold Standard Awards from both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the Transportation Security Administration Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement.

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