Originally published in the Union College Magazine, Fall 2013
As public information officer of the U.S. Capitol Police Department in Washington, Shennell Antrobus ’00 gets his share of face time. And after each appearance, he hears from friends – some as far away as Australia – who notice him in the line of duty.
The sociology major from Brooklyn, N.Y. is the public face of the 2,000-member Federal agency tasked with protection of House and Senate members and security at the Capitol complex.
He arrived at the Capitol Police in 2008 just in time for what may be one of his most memorable events. “The inauguration of President Obama was surreal,” he recalls. “There was the historical perspective of the first African American president, and it was moving to see Marine One take off from the Capitol.” Shortly after the inauguration, Shennell was on hand for Obama’s first State of the Union address.
After Union, he earned a master’s in international studies from the University of Sydney in Australia. Back in the states, a series of PR positions would provide valuable experience. But he longed for the fulfillment that comes from serving a community.
Encouraged by an aunt in the Baltimore police, he followed his passion to a master’s from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an internship with the NYPD. From there, he put his PR skills to work and made the rounds with various agencies.
He credits Union and the late Bill Thomas, director of International Programs, for encouraging him to challenge himself with study abroad. A dare from Sigma Chi brother Kurt Martel ’99 led to three visits to Japan, the last of which was to write his thesis on challenges faced by bi-racial children.
Also at Union, he was a member of the lacrosse and rugby teams. It made his day recently to bump into the Union’s men’s lacrosse team visiting the Capitol.Every day with the Capitol Police is exciting and new. “I try not to lose sight of the fact that on any given day I can be working with the Speaker of the House or a visiting prime minister,” he said. “I should start writing this down.”