By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Lieutenant Colonel Kristal Turner-Childs has become the first Black woman to achieve the rank of Pennsylvania state police deputy commissioner.

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Harrisburg native Turner-Childs enlisted in the state police in 1998. She was also the first Black woman to command a troop and served as director of the Bureau of Forensic Sciences.

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Gov. Tom Wolf confirmed her appointment, saying “her exemplary service and commitment to protecting the public makes her extremely qualified for this leadership role.”

The first person in her family to graduate from college, she pursued a master’s from Central Penn College and also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy.

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