Ligonier police officer declares candidacy for district judge

Feb. 19—Shawn Knepper of Ligonier has announced his candidacy for district judge in Ligonier.

Knepper is a graduate of both Greensburg Central Catholic and Saint Vincent College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in theology. He graduated summa cum laude from the Westmoreland County Police Academy, where he was also elected class president.

"Choosing the path of a law enforcement officer was a way for me to serve the community in a different way than I had before," said Knepper. "After serving the Unity Township area as a volunteer fireman, it became evident to me that I truly enjoyed helping others in the community, especially in their time of need. My post-secondary studies, although not the typical subjects studied by law enforcement professionals, have provided me with a solid ethical and moral foundation while expanding my critical thinking skills to interpret text, such as law, and apply it to the world we live in today."

Knepper has worked as a police officer in Ligonier and as a school resource officer in the Ligonier Valley School District.

"Being able to connect with the young people from the area and understand their needs and challenges has taught me how to empathize with those that may find themselves in a courtroom," he said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick by email at or via Twitter .