Candidates for Warren police chief accept test results
None of the four candidates for Warren police chief has challenged any of the questions or answers on the civil-service test they took Feb. 27.
That clears the way for Lt. Eric Merkel to be declared the high scorer and to become chief in June when Tim Bowers retires.
The next step is for the results to be certified. That’s expected to occur at the next Warren Civil Service Commission meeting at 8 a.m. April 3.
The commission had a meeting Tuesday to allow any of the four candidates to challenge the test, but none did, said Sue Burns, civil-service commission clerk.
Merkel scored an 83 percent, followed by a tie for second between Lieutenants Martin Gargas and Robert Massucci with 74 percent. Capt. Janice Gilmore was fourth, scoring 72 percent on the 150-question multiple-choice test.
Merkel, a 1987 Howland High School graduate, has worked for the department since 1995.
Merkel said last week if he becomes chief, one of his priorities will be to address the drug problem in the city, which he called “one of the pressing problems in the community.”
The city disbanded its narcotics investigative unit in 2009 when it lost 20 officers to layoff because of budget cuts.
The department, which dropped from 81 to 61 officers that year, now has 62 officers, including the chief.
Warren participates in the operation of the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force by providing personnel to it.
The unit, called TAG, is headed by Lt. Jeff Orr of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office with support from the Trumbull and Ashtabula county sheriff’s offices and other agencies.