Three new officers sworn into the Erie Police Department

Three new police officers were sworn into the Erie Police Department on Monday in City Council chambers at Erie City Hall.

The new officers are:

  • Dominic D’Antonio, 23. Dominic graduated from Seneca High School and went on to enlist in the United States Army as an infantryman. He has 10 months of prior law enforcement service with the Corry Police Department.
  • Alex Bielak, 22. Alex is an Erie native and graduated from McDowell High School. Alex has previous law enforcement experience with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department and Greenville Police Department in Mercer County. He is also the son of Erie Police Sgt. James Bielak, who works in the EPD training unit.
  • Rahim Hrnjic, 25. Rahim was born in Bosnia, immigrated to the United States in 2000, and now calls Erie home. He graduated from Central Tech High School in 2016. He has two years prior service with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Erie School District Police Department where he has been serving for the last eight months.
Three new Erie Police officers were sworn in, on Aug. 28, 2023, at Erie City Council chambers. From left are: Dominic D’Antonio, 23; Alex Bielak, 22; and Rahim Hrnjic, 25. CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE/CITY OF ERIE

During the ceremony, the Erie Police command staff recognized the new officers and their 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 50 people 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 families when preparing for their new responsibilities as peacekeepers, law enforcement officers, and guardians.

“See your family and friends that are here?” said Chief Spizarny. “They will be reminders of why you became a police officer. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat everyone as you would want your family and friends to be treated.”

The three new officers graduated from Mercyhurst University’s Police Academy in North East and began work today. The Erie Police Department now has a complement of 193 officers.

“In the last six years, 100 new police officers have joined the Erie Police Department, said Chief Spizarny. “This department is becoming a very young department. That’s a lot of energy. They’re young, they’re resourceful and they have a lot of hope for the future.”

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