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IEM Leadership


Kristal Turner-Childs

Senior State and Local Law Enforcement Advisor

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Kristal Turner-Childs embodies the epitome of leadership, innovation, and commitment in law enforcement. Her 25-year career with the Pennsylvania State Police has been marked by groundbreaking achievements, including being the first African-American female Deputy Commissioner of Staff. Her pioneering spirit has shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations in policing. Kristal’s extensive career is a testament to her unwavering dedication to law enforcement and public safety.

Educationally, Kristal is well-prepared for her role in law enforcement. Holding a bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Central Penn College, her academic background is comprehensive. Her expertise is further enhanced by her graduation from the prestigious Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy. These academic accomplishments have been instrumental in her success across various challenging roles within the Pennsylvania State Police, where she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and strategic skills.

As Lieutenant Colonel, Kristal played a crucial role in advancing police operations. She was at the forefront of integrating critical technologies such as body-worn cameras, tasers, and mobile video recorders. Her responsibilities extended beyond technology implementation; she efficiently managed equipment, vehicles, the Pennsylvania Instacheck System, and budgeting. Her tenure is distinguished by her versatile skill set and forward-thinking approach, significantly contributing to the modernization of law enforcement practices.

Her achievement further exemplifies Kristal’s leadership excellence as the first African-American woman to command a troop and the second to attain the rank of Major. Under her leadership, her units were recognized for their efficiency, discipline, and adherence to high law enforcement standards. Her commitment to excellence, integrity, and community betterment has been a hallmark of her career, making a lasting impact on the communities she served.

As the Interim Director of Public Safety at Harrisburg Area Community College, Kristal continued to apply her extensive experience in police and public safety. Her role involved leading cross-functional teams, developing strategic initiatives, and implementing data-driven decision-making processes. Her exemplary career has been acknowledged with numerous accolades, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Central Penn College and prestigious awards like the CREDC Athena Award and the NCBW Trailblazer Award. Kristal’s career is a story of professional achievement and ongoing dedication to societal progress and empowerment.

Kristal Turner-Childs

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