Shapiro announces nominations for leaders of public safety in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro has announced five nominations for Pennsylvania’s public safety leaders, including the first woman to be appointed to the position of Secretary of Corrections.
Onriday Shapiro announced the nominations of Laurel Harry to be secretary of corrections, Randy Padfield to be director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Major General Mark Schindler to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Tom Cook as state fire commissioner, and Christopher Schindler to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general. Paris to be the state police commissioner.
“As Attorney General, I work with first responders and fellow law enforcement leaders every day to make our communities safer — and Laurel Harry, Randy Padfield, Mark Schindler, Tom Cook and Christopher Barris are exemplary public servants who put their health and safety on the line to serve the Commonwealth,” said Governor-elect Shapiro.
Dr Harry has been the Acting Deputy Minister for the Western Region since 10 July 2022, and has 24 years experience in the Commonwealth in the Department of Corrections. She was previously a supervisor at SCI Camp Hill and worked at six institutions in Pennsylvania. She was also recognized by the Prison Monitors Association of the Palestinian Authority as the Best Warden of the Year for 2019.
“I am proud to serve in Governor-elect Shapiro’s government and look forward to working with him to enhance public safety across the Commonwealth,” said Dr Harry.
PEMA Director Randy Padfield has been nominated to continue to lead the Commonwealth Emergency Response Unit. Named director in 2019, he previously served as deputy director for PEMA and was director of the Senator John J. Shoemaker Center for Public Safety Training at Harrisburg Area Community College.
“I look forward to continuing to lead the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency under the leadership of Governor-elect Josh Shapiro,” said PEMA Administrator Padfield.
Major General Mark J. Schindler assumed his duties as Adjutant General of the State of Pennsylvania on December 5, 2020, and was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate as the 54th Commanding General of Pennsylvania on June 21, 2021. General Schindler oversees a joint state and federal budget. more than $966 million and is responsible for commanding more than 18,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel.
“I am honored that Governor-elect Shapiro has entrusted me with continuing to serve the Commonwealth as Adjutant General of Military Affairs and Veterans,” said Major General Schindler.
Acting Pennsylvaniaire Commissioner Thomas Cook has served in his current position since 2021 after previously overseeing the day-to-day operations of 700 personnel as the Assistantire Chief at the Pittsburghire Bureau. Cook received awards asire Teacher of the Year,ire Officer of the Year, and Letters of Commendation. He received a Unit Citation for rescues conducted from an apartment fire in Mount Lebanon, and the Heroic Red Cross Medal, for saving a civilian prior to the arrival of suppression units in Pittsburgh.
“Pennsylvania has the largest number of fire departments in the country and is a national leader in the number of professional and salaried employees providing emergency services – underscoring the critical importance of the Commonwealthire and Emergency Service community,” said Actingire Commissioner Cooke.
Major Christopher L. Barris joined the Pennsylvania State Police in 1999 and has served in Troops K, Skippack, Philadelphia, Office of Training and Education, Department’s Office of Discipline, Troop R Dunmore and Blooming Grove, and Department Headquarters. He was promoted to corporal in 2005, sergeant in 2006, lieutenant in 2010, captain in 2015, major in 2018, and lieutenant colonel in 2020.
“I am grateful for the trust Governor-elect Shapiro has placed in me to lead my fellow law enforcement officers, and I look forward to working with him to hire more police officers in our communities, hold criminals accountable, and make our communities safer,” said Major Paris.
Shapiro has previously announced members and nominations for his Cabinet, including Minister of the Commonwealth and Education.
Shapiro will be sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor on January 17, 2023, at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
abc27 will broadcast Shapiro’s opening on January 17th.