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Selinsgrove's first female police chief takes office

For the first time in nearly 30 years, there is a new police chief in Selinsgrove. Shanee Mitchell was sworn in Monday night as Selinsgrove's first female chief.

SELINSGROVE, Pa. — There's a buzz in the air at the Selinsgrove Police Department as it is Chief Shanee Mitchell's first week on the job.

"Everyone that I've met so far has been very welcoming, and so I'm looking forward to pushing the change that they want," she said.

While Mitchell is new to Selinsgrove, she is no stranger to law enforcement. She comes from the Philadelphia Police Department, where she started as an officer in 2003.

"I then got promoted in 2011 to corporal, then to sergeant in 2012, and 2016 to lieutenant," Mitchell said.

Mitchell succeeds Thomas Garlock, who retired in April after 27 years as Selinsgrove's police chief.  

She is not only the department's first female chief but also Selinsgrove's first black police chief.

"This is not only history, it's black history. It's dynamic," Chief Mitchell said.

"I'm honored that I was chosen because, I won't lie, that was one of the things that people did bring up. What is the diversity out there? To me, it didn't matter. It's just a nice area," she said.

Mitchell is married with three kids, and she is a two-time cancer survivor.

She said one of her goals is to bridge the gap between the police officers and the community.

"Just being out there will make everybody happier. Not just building the morale within the department. In the community, period," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said she looks forward to meeting all of the people who live and work in Selinsgrove.

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