Lees keeps promise to hire more women, minorities

three people sworn in as new youngstown police officers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown added three new police officers to the force on Monday, and also diversified its roster.

Mayor John McNally and Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees gave the oath of office to Travis Sheely, Michael Conway and Jeshaila Dunkle. These new hires should bring the Youngstown Police Department up to normal staffing levels.

“The three new officers will fill in actually for some attrition that we have had recently. The next group that we hire will be the group that will back fill for our community policing unit we hope to field late this spring or early summer, so this is just a step toward that goal.” Lees said.

Sheely and Conway start training this week, and Dunkle will start after graduating from the police academy in May.

Dunkle, 22, is the first womab to become an officer since Robin Lees became police chief in January 2014.

Chief Lees promised to hire more women and minorities this time around after receiving complaints from the community about the department’s hiring policy.

“I would love to see more female minorities join. It is a hard thing to do, but if I can do, anyone can do it,” Dunkle said. “I am very excited. This is a big accomplishment, especially since I am still young. I am very happy to be an officer on the streets of Youngstown, so everybody can know this is a safe place to be.”

She said she does not feel she has anything to prove because she is a double minority as an African American woman. She did not seem bothered by that, but was bothered by how short she is. Dunkle stands at 5-foot, 2-inches.

“I think I do have a little to prove, especially since my height. That is a big issue people look at,” Dunkle said.

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