By jeanne starmack
It only took 110 years, but the Struthers police force now has its first full-time female officer.
Emma Brenoel, 22, was sworn in Thursday morning at the city building:
“I will be fair and just in all my dealings with people...
“I will not use the powers invested in me in any way except for the best interest of the public ...,” she repeated after Mayor Terry Stocker.
So, what took the city so long?
Stocker said it was simply thatthough women applied to be in the city’s police reserves, none ever applied for a full-time position.
There were two full-time positions open, and the timing was right, he said, adding he believes Brenoel will be an asset to the city.
“I’m very proud to be the chief when we were able to hire a female,” said Police Chief Tim Roddy.
While the swearing-in of a woman police officer is new to the city, police work is not brand new for Brenoel, who lives in Poland with parents Phil and Amy Brenoel.
She has been a reserve officer for Struthers for a month, and she began as a part-time officer for Poland village in June. She has also been a part-time officer in Craig Beach since February and has been a reserve with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office since January.
She graduated from Poland Seminary High School in 2008 and is attending Youngstown State University for a degree in criminal justice.
She completed the Ohio police Officer Training Academy in March 2011.
Brenoel said she can’t see herself as anything but a police officer.
“I think it just fits me,” she said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I really like helping people solve their problems. It’s not just finding bad guys.”
“I love this place,” she continued. “I like working here. I feel like I fit in. This place will advance my education. The guys I work with — they’re just good guys.”
Looking on while Stocker administered the oath to Brenoel were her parents and her grandmother, Barb Ciccone of Struthers.
“We are very proud of her. She set a goal and met it,” said Amy Brenoel.
“She’s where she wanted to be,” said Phil Brenoel.
Brenoel’s first day on the job is today.
Stocker will swear in another full-time and two part-time officers today.
Ryan Kolenich is the new full-time officer. The new part-timers are Jeremy Cramer and Mark Mehley.
Struthers has 14 officers now, including the chief. The city will give a civil-service test for a police captain. Capt. Tom Skovira retired Aug. 31.