State police highlight women in law enforcement at expo

Apr. 4—BLOOMSBURG — Nearly 100 high school girls from 13 school districts heard the perspective of women in law enforcement during the second annual Women in Law Enforcement Expo at Bloomsburg Univeristy on Wednesday.

The event, hosted by the state police, features women law enforcement officers from various state police units, local police departments and criminal investigators.

Danville Area High School and Shikellamy High School students participated in the event and Shikellamy Police Chief Shawn Williams, who also runs the Law Enforcement Club, said the event is a great opportunity for the girls in the club to speak one-on-one with active troopers and investigators.

"I am so glad to be able to bring the students to these types of events," he said. "They were able to interact with leaders within the state police on all levels."

Hazleton state trooper and spokesperson Anthony Petroski said he loves the event because it gives the female students a chance to learn about the job and meet with troopers.

"We showcased numerous female troopers within the Pennsylvania State Police who spoke about their career within the department," he said. "We know that the students enjoyed this program and it's fair to say that the presenters enjoyed it just as much. Anytime we can get out in the public, showcase our job and try to help young adults with their career choices, it's a great day!

Trooper Gabrielle Van Wie, a criminal investigator, spoke to the students and said when she decided to become a trooper there were no presentations for women like there are now.

"This is wonderful," she said. "Students get the opportunity to speak with us and get our take on the job."

Van Wie said the expo is important.

"This is a big deal that we get to inspire our youth," she said. "We have the chance to really make a difference."

Danville Area School District guidance counselor Jordan Rickert said the event is empowering.

"I want to thank the state police for putting on a very informative expo," she said. "It was very empowering to hear women speak about their positions, passions and their journey within the state police. It is great to expose students to different career paths and gain first-hand knowledge of occupations in the field."

Danville junior Aliyah Gordner, 17, said she was interested in the speakers.

"This was a very informative program and I came last year when I was considering a career in law enforcement," Gordner said. "I wanted to come and listen to the different speakers."

Shikellamy freshmen Arianna Barrera and Marlein Caballero said they had a great time at the event.

"I was so inspired by everyone that spoke today," Barrera said. "I want to help people when I'm older so this was a great experience."

Caballero said she was inspired.

"I had a great time and it was a lot of fun," Caballero said. "The women of the state police are all very brave in their profession. They are so cool."