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Highest ranking female New York State Police Officer: "we need more women, women bring so much to the table"

Col. Mary A. Clark tells her story to 7 News - and shares why she's working to bring in more female officers.
Posted at 1:09 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 13:43:42-05

HOLLAND, N.Y. (WKBW) — Colonel Mary A. Clark, the highest ranking female officer of the New York State Police (Deputy Superintendent), is calling on women to join the blue.

"We want to accurately represent the area with work in - and that includes women. There's no obstacles anymore, anyone can be a police officer," said Clark.

Clark started her career on a whim, but now hopes her voice can carry.

"I remember the day like it was yesterday, when I was told it was for me," said Clark.

Throughout her entire childhood, Clark worked at Zider Zee Diner, a local institution found in Holland. One day, nearly 35 years ago, State Troopers Patrick Lalley and Don Gardon made an offer that changed her life.

"I'd known them for a long time, throughout my time working at the Zee," said Clark.

"They came in, they told me I'd make a great Trooper, and gave me an application. I said what? A state trooper? No, that's not for me," she added.

Clark had just recently graduated from Buffalo State College and looked to become a teacher, but the job market wasn't opening up to her.

"I signed up and it was the best decision of my life," said Clark.

Clark implores all women and men to look into taking the state troopers exam, you can find all the information on how to sign up here.