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Kevin Mosley

Kevin Mosley (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Since its inception in May 1905 until 1956, the Pennsylvania State Police had zero African Americans serving as its members.

By 1973, although nearly 11 percent of all state employees were people of color, only 62 people of color were enlisted in the department, out of a total complement of 4,173 — a paltry 1.5 percent. Of the 62, all but two held the lowest rank of trooper. [Bolden v. Pennsylvania State Police]

The court issued a consent decree in the mid-1970s to address the disparity. The order changed the face of the Pennsylvania State Police and made my employment as a state trooper possible.

After I graduated from the academy in January 1986 at the age of 27, I was stationed in Somerset, Pa. By the time that I left there I could tell you when doe, buck, turkey, bow, small game and muzzle season was. And while the consent decree provided opportunity, it didn’t lead to the end of racial slights and slurs.



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