For those who dedicate their careers to public service and supporting their communities, there is always another chapter to scribe and goals to achieve. For Cheyney University student Claire Lane, she is on her way to completing another stage in her life, which is already full of professional and personal accomplishments focused on helping those most in need.
Lane, who has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement and criminal justice, will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in social relations with a concentration in criminal justice. She enrolled in Cheyney in the fall of 2019 with an associate degree in criminal justice under her belt from the Community College of Philadelphia.
“I chose these particular studies at Cheyney because I wanted a broader perspective of criminal justice and I knew a degree in social relations would provide it,” said Lane. “I always wanted to attend Cheyney because I understand the value of our HBCUs, and it has been the best experience of my life.”
Miss Claire, as her fellow students call her, knows something about the criminal justice system. She is a former Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officer who rose in the ranks to become a detective and served on the force for more than 20 years. When she retired from the PPD, she immediately joined the Defender’s Association of Philadelphia as an investigator and has been with them ever since, even while she was a Cheyney student.
Upholding the law and providing support for those who need guidance through the judicial system is something that has been part of the Lane family. Lane’s daughter is the Honorable Judge Timika Lane, who was first elected in 2013 and handles major trials in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas’ Criminal Division.
“My mother didn’t stay retired for long,” said Judge Lane. “After leaving the Philadelphia Police Department she couldn’t stay still and was retired for about two weeks before joining the Defender’s Association.”
“When she told me she was thinking about going to Cheyney, she said she thought she was too old to go back to school. I told her she absolutely can do it, that age has nothing to do with it. I’m so proud of her.”