Ann-Marie Taylor, who retired as the Palm Beach Police Department’s deputy police chief in September, was named the chief of campus safety and security for Palm Beach Atlantic University on Wednesday. Taylor will officially start Jan. 2.

Taylor left the town after 24 years with the police department but less than one year after being named deputy chief. In September, Taylor said she was exploring other opportunities and had considered retiring for several months.

Taylor said she accepted the job last week.  

“What a privilege to get to work for an organization that I care deeply about,” said Taylor, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic. “I had a great career at the town, and now I’ll get to work for another organization that’s certainly close my heart.”

In her new role, Taylor will work with police and other agencies to coordinate school security, work with the school’s crisis management team and manage the department’s security budget, according to the school.

John Kautz III, the school’s senior vice president for finance, administration and planning, said in a statement that Taylor’s experience in running a police department makes her “well qualified to lead the university’s efforts to enhance campus security.”

Taylor’s departure from the department came during a period of high turnover within the town’s public safety sector. Thirteen officers left the town between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 12, the most in any fiscal year since at least 2006, according to town records.

Of those 13, Taylor may have been the most notable departure.

During her time at the department, Taylor rose from dispatcher to eventually become the highest ranking female in department history; she was the department’s first female captain and deputy chief. She served on multiple units throughout her career, including the Organized Crime Vice and Narcotics Unit and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. According to the town, Taylor received 39 commendations and was named officer of the month and officer of the quarter two times each.

After Taylor retired, Town Manager Kirk Blouin promoted Nicholas Caristo from major to acting chief.

In her new job, Taylor said she hopes to focus on improving the school’s customer service and security-related training, and is looking forward to returning to the place where she once studied.

“It just seemed like a good fit,” Taylor said.