Meet Captain Teena Gooding with the University of South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement and Safety
Teena, who joined the force in 2003, is University of South Carolina‘s first female captain. She serves on the board of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics – the first board member ever to be from a university department – and recently joined officers as they ran down Main Street in Columbia SC to raise money for Special Olympics South Carolina.
She teaches self-defense for civilians and female officers. Last year, she taught over 60 civilian classes all over the state, including for the S.C. Commission for the Blind and to spinal chord injury groups. Teena recalled when she first taught self-defense to a woman in a wheelchair. “She had gone to a special defense class before and they told her, ‘There is nothing we can do for you.’ We worked with her, asking her where she felt strong. Because of that she went back to her group and shared that we needed to meet with them. We now meet with people all over the state and teach them to be strong whether in their chair or not. We don’t ever tell anyone no.”
Teena is also on the peer team with South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program. “I got involved because a colleague of mine drowned and another was shot. I have had personal friends die by suicide and also my husband is in law enforcement. My experiences with SC LEAP have helped me get through that.”
Without a doubt, Cpt. Teena Gooding is a super hero and we are proud to celebrate her as our #WonderWomanWednesday.