Three new police officers were sworn in to the Erie Police Department today in City Council chambers at Erie City Hall.
The new officers are:
- James Mark Pettinato, 31, an Erie resident, and graduate of Villa Maria Academy and the criminal justice program at Mercyhurst University. Pettinato has five years previous law enforcement experience with the Lake City Police Department.
- Hailey Connors, 23, an Erie resident, and graduate of Girard High School and the criminal justice program at Gannon University with a minor in social work. Connors has one year previous law enforcement experience with the Gannon University Police & Safety Department.
- Thomas Twohig, 22, an Erie resident and graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, and recent graduate of the criminal justice program at Mercyhurst University.
During the ceremony, the Erie Police command staff recognized them and their new commitment to their community.
“Today is an exciting day for the three individuals on stage,” said Erie Police Inspector Christopher Janus, who led the recruitment team for the three new officers. “It is a milestone in their law enforcement career they will never forget. However, it is not the first milestone nor is it the last in their career. Law enforcement is not just a job, but a calling to serve and protect others. Each of these individuals answered that call.”
About 60 attended the ceremony, including fellow officers, friends and family members. Erie Police Chief Daniel Spizarny said the new officers need only to look to their family when preparing for their new responsibilities as peacekeeper, law enforcement officer and guardian.
“Someday you may question why you took on this responsibility,” said Spizarny, to the new officers during the ceremony. “Your desire to protect your friends and family is now your responsibility to the community.”
All three officers graduated from the Mercyhurst University’s Police Academy in North East, and begin work today.
The Erie Police Department now has a complement of 186 officers.
See video of the ceremony: https://youtu.be/9Qh-avKGnzc