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YPD adds seven new officers

Published: Tue, July 16, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.


Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley, left, and Mayor Charles Sammarone, right, flank seven new police officers who were sworn in Monday, who are, in no particular order, Brian Ferreri, Thomas Wisener, Timothy Edwards, Stephen Gaetano, Hannah Banks, Daniel Zakrajsek and Kenneth Garling.

By Joe Gorman



Police Chief Rod Foley told the seven new officers who were sworn in Monday to rely on their experience and values when they are on the road.

He said they already come to the job with some of those qualities. And he thanked their parents for instilling them in his new officers.

“You have given them the tools necessary to be successful in life,” Foley said.

The department also promoted William Ward to detective sergeant from patrolman.

The new hires now give the department 152 officers, which is the bare minimum Foley says it can operate with.

Foley told the new hires they will seem overwhelmed at the enormity of their job at first, but he said if they fall back on what they learned from their parents and use it, they should be fine.

“Do the right thing — even when you think no one is watching,” Foley said.

Mayor Charles Sammarone said he remembered when he started on city council 30 years ago that the talk was to never let the number of officers go below 200, but times have changed since then, he said.

Sammarone told the new officers and others in attendance to remember the words of the chief.

“You have to practice it every second of the day,” Sammarone said.

Sammarone said it seems that people no longer respect police, and he said that’s something that has to change. He said police officers have the toughest job in the city because they are being called by people who have problems almost all the time.

“You’re always facing tough situations,” Sammarone said.

Hannah Banks, a 2008 Ursuline High School graduate and city native, is one of the new hires. She said she has wanted to be a police officer her entire life because of the example set by her father, who was a firefighter for a long time.

Banks said she was an officer at the Mill Creek MetroParks Police Department and a reserve officer in Austintown before taking the test for Youngstown. She said she is looking forward to her new job.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Banks said.

Thomas Wisener is another one of the hires. He is a Marine Corps veteran with eight years in the corps, four in the infantry and four as a military policeman. The Akron native said he took the test in Youngstown because the city had openings.

Wisener also said it has been his lifelong dream to be a police officer. He said having military training helps because, like being in the military, being a police officer requires focus and discipline.

“It’s all I wanted to do since I was a little kid,” Wisener said. “I always enjoyed the job. Helping people and keeping people safe is a bonus.”

Five of the new officers are having 75 percent of their salaries paid for by a federal grant for police departments to hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The grant will cover that portion of their salaries for three years, and the department must keep them on for a year after that, under the terms of the grant.

The department hired two officers under that grant in October.


1walter_sobchak(2716 comments)posted 3 years ago

Glad to see they have some diversity in the ranks of the new hires with an additional female for the force. Good luck and most importantly, be safe!

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2citizen007(1 comment)posted 3 years ago

Since when does having one female on the force mean they have some diversity? Race is a key element of diversity. According to Wikipedia... there are more minorities (54%) than... well majorities (47%).

Did they not apply? Were they not qualified?
7 for 7 isn't the problem. 7 for 7 in Youngstown, OH is the problem. You see they didn't dare go 7 for 7 on gender.
This force is going in a direction that fails to identify with the citizens that inhabit the force. I personally have a problem with this. Am I wrong?

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3harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years ago

yes you are wrong, cant keep giving jobs to the unqualified just because they are from a certain race.

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4harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years ago

that discriminates against the qualified because they are from a certain race.

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5captainpeewee(76 comments)posted 3 years ago

who is the Moran in city hall that would put this photo plastered on the front page of the vindy in the mist of race rioting across the country they need to be fired.

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6RedDevil4Life(5 comments)posted 3 years ago

Capt. You are a MORON...obviously not a typo because the "o" and the "a" are not near eachother on the keyboard. The so called race war is brought on by the media. Realize this they feed you crap and tell you its candy and you all fall in line. The fact is no matter male, female, old, young, black, white, yellow, as long as they are doing the job and doing it well who cares. But in the same breath same people as above it should be based on who is the best canidate. If there is a test given then the best should be who is hired. The problem with this country is we allow mediocrity and think its ok. To be superior you have to be the best. Police are suppose to be pseudo military well guess what people the military puts the best of the best at the top. So sjt back let the good men and women of these police forces help you. You notice I said men and women not white cop, black cop, female cop, male cop.

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7DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years ago

Sorry Clyde, but Whites aren't the ones who get extra points on just about every test there is because of their "special" color. You should be embarrased.

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8YtownParent(1069 comments)posted 3 years ago

The only thing that matters is if they are a good cop or a bad cop. If they do their job or they are derelict in their duty. The problem in Youngstown is that once on the force the bad cop is treated the same (or sometimes better) than the good cop.

In our quiet little neck of Brownlee Woods we have had 23 different officers and 2 Sergeants out over the last 4 months, due to the drug activity at one house. I call it drug activity, because when they are arguing over it and using specific names like Xanax, Vicadine, Oxy's, and Herion so loud that the security cameras in our house pick up the conversation it's passed the point of suspicion.

Most of the calls were made from an occupant of that same house for the officers to come there because the fights got physical. At the same time detectives from Struthers and Boardman had felony warrants out for the arrest of two of the tenants.

Of those 25 different cops, only one of them actually listened to the recording and did anything about it. Only one of those cops actually picked the people up for their warrants (the others were all informed by dispatch & it's clear as day on the detailed call logs for two months).

So 24 Bad cops couldn't be bothered to follow a judge's orders. The most they could care to do was tell us and our fellow home owners that we should just move, at the same time that Chief Foley is whining in the Vindicator that renters are the cause of all of Ytown's crime and owner occupied housing is the answer. We're lucky that the landlord wanted them out to, but he couldn't do anything until the cops did their job first.The bad and derelict cops on the force need to go and the good cops need to be given more authority.

The light at the end of the tunnel in this story is that the one officer who wasn't too busy polishing off his donuts to do his job, Officer Ward, was promoted. Let's just hope he gets the backing of Cheif Foley, Mayor Sammarone & City Hall to make the officers under him do their job or go find another one.

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9USMC0331(152 comments)posted 3 years ago


Really? And you know that how? Just by looking at them? "God help us" from idiots like you! Sounds like you took the test but didn't score high enough. Awe! You a little upset? You couldn't handle that job!


If there were honestly "24" bad cops on the police dept, things would be a lot worse than they are. Laws limit the ability to (kick in doors and get the bad guy) also call volume hinders that. There are special units that go and serve warrants. A cop working the beat usually doesn't have time to investigate to that depth. Most that I know if they did have the time would. And by the way if there was, "audio" of someone saying something illegal and you got arrested for it you'd be singing a different tune. Just playing devils advocate.

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