Sue Slawson did not wait until her first day on June 2 to officially begin work in her post as new Recreation Department commissioner.

She got started soon after her appointment two weeks ago, she said.

Frequent visits to several rec centers around the city were a priority, she said; meetings with police captains, beat cops and community leaders followed.

It was that kind of zealous commitment that led Mayor Nutter to appoint the 20-year-veteran with the Police Department, he said.

"I've watched Sue grow in [the Police Athletic League] and she has a tremendous commitment to kids," he said.

A combination of her skills as a fundraiser and as a police officer made the choice simple, he said.

Leo Dignam, deputy commissioner of the Recreation Department, said he's also impressed with Slawson.

"She has a great work ethic. She's a great fit for us," he said.

Slawson's previous stint was as a lieutenant and a police commander at the Police Athletic League.

As a rookie cop, she was assigned to the First Police District, 24th Street near Wolf, in 1987. After seven years in that district, she was assigned to public affairs, promoted to the rank of sergeant and then assigned to PAL.

Two years later, she was back in public affairs as commanding officer for six years and was later reassigned to PAL, where she remained until her new appointment.

She flourished working with the youth in PAL, said the 46-year-old Sunday-school teacher, wife and mother of two.

"I think you're doing what your passion is without knowing," she said about working with kids. *