Lt. Colonel Kristal Turner-Child Becames First Deputy Commissioner in Pennsylvania State Police History

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Lt. Colonel Kristal Turner-Childs became the first Black woman in the history of the Pennsylvania State Police to be named deputy commissioner of staff, when Gov. Tom Wolf confirmed her appointment on Tuesday. .

She started working at PSP in February of 1998 and quickly moved up the ranks, achieving other firsts for a Black woman during her 20-plus years on the job—including being the first lieutenant colonel, according to the Penn Live. One of those includes being the first Black woman to lead a troop when she became a captain. In 2018, she became the second Black woman to reach the rank of major when she served as director of the Bureau of Forensic Sciences.

In a statement from Wolf’s office, the governor praised her service and commitment to protecting the residents of Pennsylvania.

“My administration is committed to ensuring that our workforce is reflective of Pennsylvania’s diverse population and I’m thankful for the lieutenant colonel’s passion for helping all Pennsylvanians throughout her career,” he said in the statement.

Turner-Childs is highly respected by her subordinates as “brilliant, bold and brave.

Here is more on her promotion, per the Penn Live:

In her new role, she will assist the police commissioner in the development of policies and procedures to “achieve maximum efficiency in functional responsibilities to ensure optimal utilization of available resources.”

“My mentality has always been to help and serve the department and the diverse communities of the commonwealth,” Turner-Childs said in a statement. “I am honored to be the first African-American Deputy Commissioner of Staff and hope the appointment inspires others to pursue their passions.”

Turner-Childs was the first in her family to earn a college degree, which she earned from Elizabethtown College in 2005. She went on to earn her master’s degree from Central Penn College, then graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy.

Policing in America certainly can use more Black law enforcement officers in key positions, so let’s hope Turner-Childs is one of the “good ones.”


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