Gina Sandwith

Explorers program coordinator, Board of Directors – Secretary

Gina experienced the benefits of JCPAL while she was a child growing up in Jersey City. Frank (now director) coached her brother, and he also helped mentor Gina as she pursued a career in law enforcement. Now Gina has been a Jersey City police officer for over 4 years.

While in college, Gina joined the Marine Corps, and was deployed overseas 3 times – to Afghanistan, Africa and Bahrain. She has served for 9 years, and is currently still in the Reserves.

Gina played sports all through grammar school and high school, but also did martial arts. She holds a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Green Belt in Marine Corps Martial Arts.

With this background, Frank reached out to Gina to start a martial arts program with the PAL. But Gina came to realize that she could make a greater impact on the community if she could help kids get into a career in law enforcement. If she could get someone to change their attitude about one cop, they might question their negative judgment about all cops.

After laying the groundwork for several months, Gina recruited enough kids to hold an Explorers academy in June of 2015, with 24 (out of 25) kids graduating the program. Seeing her Explorers graduate high school, go off to college, enter the military or pursue careers as police or EMTs, keeps Gina going.