Updated 03/11/2013 03:07 PM
New York State Police recognize contributions of women
New York State Police are shining the spotlight on women this month, recognizing the contributions of the female troopers. Our Lori Chung reports.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It's still pretty much a non-traditional occupation and many women don't see it as an opportunity," said Deborah Campbell, New York State Police Deputy Superintendent.
Campbell says that's part of the reason the New York State Police takes time each year to recognize the contributions of women on the force, spreading the word that becoming a trooper is a viable career option for both genders.
"I graduated with a degree in physical education [and] couldn't get a job," said Campbell. "Thank God for my father who showed me the State Police application."
Nearly 30 years later, Campbell has helped to blaze the trail that new recruits will now follow, men and women alike prepared for whatever may come.
"It certainly can be a dangerous job and that's one thing we pride ourselves about within the State Police, is our training academy."
Just last week, police shot a man to death in North Hudson after he tried to grab a female trooper's gun. Days earlier, a male trooper was stabbed in the neck by a suspect in Albany. It's proof that danger doesn't discriminate.
"All of the people that come to us face the same challenges here and I think that we're in the business of building troopers," said Robin Benziger, Training Director. "I like to say we do the same job, but we might do it a little differently, but the expectations are the same for everyone."
The force continues to honor those who help to level the playing field at events like this one.
"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the women who came before us," said Benziger. "When I was a young trooper, I was always very mindful of that."
The same likely goes for those hoping to join or climb the ranks as well.