Four new police officers were sworn in Wednesday in Warren.
Among those hired are Dania Gillam, the cousin of Youngstown city councilwoman Annie Gillam, and Trumbull County Sheriff Tom Altiere’s son, Michael.
Officer Peter Goranitis and Chad Shrader also were sworn in during a ceremony at City Hall. There are now 63 officers in the Warren police department, about 20 officers shy of what they are allowed to have by city ordinance.
New police chief Eric Merkel said he would like to have more officers, but must work within his budget. He said he plans to move forward with a street crimes unit.
Merkel said two officers in the street crimes unit will work with the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency.
“I’m going to double up on some people’s duties when we start this Street Crimes Unit and put about five or six people into that,” Merkel said. “I think we can do that without affecting the road patrols right now. And they will even be out there to supplement them at times.”
Sheriff Altiere said he never really encouraged Michael to go into law enforcement, but he was “extremely proud” of his son. Michael Altiere was in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Iraq.
“I’ll be done with my career and he’s just getting started. He has grown up around law enforcement for 40 years,” Sheriff Altiere said.
Michael Altiere said he is excited to join the Warren Police Department and when asked if he would like to follow in his father’s footsteps, he said “those are some big shoes to fill.”