Honoring DSP Trailblazers during Black History Month

Staff WriterPolice & Fire, RSS

To culminate the celebration of Black History Month and the continued celebration of 100 years as a full-service police agency, the Delaware State Police would like to honor one of the first African American troopers to join its ranks, Lieutenant Frank Chandler (retired), as well as the first African American to lead its diverse ranks, Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. (retired).


Lieutenant Frank Chandler (retired)
Lieutenant Frank Chandler (retired)

Lieutenant Frank Chandler was among the first African American male troopers hired by the Delaware State Police. Before starting his career as a Trooper, he served in the military and intended to be a part of the California Highway Patrol after his military service; however, he returned to Delaware to be with his family. During his travels in Delaware, he saw a Delaware State Trooper and knew that law enforcement was precisely what he wanted to do. He applied and was hired in 1972. He was one of five minorities in his academy class. Trooper William Bessix, the first African American hired by the Delaware State Police, served as retired Lieutenant Chandler’s mentor. Lieutenant Chandler held positions at Troop 9 on patrol, Troop 2 in the Criminal Investigations Unit, Troop 3 as a Sergeant on patrol, and Community Relations. He was also assigned to “personnel,” where he laid the foundation for the recruiting unit that exists today. He was also assigned as a “drill instructor” at the Delaware State Police Academy, where he was known for drill and ceremony. While assigned to the academy, he assisted with implementing boxing into the academy curriculum. He retired in 1992 after 20 years of dedicated service. Following his career as a Delaware State Trooper, he worked as a senior bank fraud investigator at MBNA for 21 years. Lieutenant Chandler is married to Joyce Ann and recently celebrated 55 years of blissful marriage. He and his wife have three children together, Vincent, Franklin Jr, and Michael. During the summer, Lieutenant Chandler works with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, where he conducts annual seatbelt surveys. His remaining days throughout the year are spent enjoying retired life with his family.




Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. (Retired)
Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. (retired)

Nathaniel McQueen Jr. is the first and only African American Trooper to attain the rank of Superintendent for the Delaware State Police. Prior to joining the Delaware State Police, he served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. Before becoming Superintendent, he served in many leadership roles, including patrol Sergeant, detective Sergeant, Traffic Lieutenant, Criminal Lieutenant, and Captain (Troop Commander) of Troops 9, 1, and 2. He was eventually promoted to the rank of Major for statewide operations, then New Castle County Operations, before being promoted to the rank of Colonel. As the second longest-serving Superintendent of the DSP, Colonel McQueen paved the way for changes to policies and procedures. Under his leadership, Delaware State Police implemented a stratified policing model called the Delaware State Police Enhanced Analytical Response (SPEAR). The SPEAR model employs strategies to reduce crime, improve traffic safety, and enhance community engagement efforts. While serving the citizens of Delaware, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Wilmington University and earned his master’s degree in social work from Delaware State University. His other achievements include many items of direct service to the Delaware community, which included improving the efficiency of business processes to advance public safety and building transparency and trust. After 32 years of faithful and loyal service as a Delaware State Trooper, the marine motto “Semper Fidelis” is still deeply ingrained in his moral values. He has continued his commitment to service and currently holds the position of Secretary for the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, where he has been since July 2020.


On behalf of the women and men of the Delaware State Police, we thank you, Lieutenant Chandler and Secretary McQueen, for your unwavering commitment, sacrifice, and dedication to the Delaware State Police and the citizens of Delaware.

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