The ranks have grown by two more part-time officers at the Amherst police department.
Jeffry Zemanek and Edward Gawlik were sworn in Wednesday as patrolmen in a ceremony at the North Lake Street station.
Zemanek, 22, of a 2011 graduate of Amherst Steele High School and a 2015 graduate of Lorain County Community College. He was hired in July to serve with the South Amherst police and previously worked with the Lorain police auxiliary.
Gawlik, 21, is a 2012 graduate of Avon Lake High School and a 2015 graduate of Lorain County Community College. In March, he was hired to work for the Lorain County Metro Parks and two months later signed on with the LaGrange police.
“We’re going to be working them hard,” said Amherst police chief Joseph Kucirek.
Addressing friends and family of the new officers, the chief said it might feel like the wrong time to enter into the profession of police work, considering widespread scrutiny of police methods, especially in relation to the deaths of minority suspects such as 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland.
But it’s actually the best time to step forward and don a badge, Kucirek said, emphasizing that the public needs the help of men and women in uniform.
Outbound mayor David Taylor, on his final day at the post, raised his right hand as each officer did and administered oaths.
“I’m very proud to have two more come on. We have the finest police department around and I’m very proud of what they do,” he told the crowd.
Several part-time officers have been hired into the Amherst force this year in anticipation of several longtime police officer retirements. The closest to that benchmark are Les George, Luther Smith, and John Balog.
When an officer retires, part-time officers are the first to be considered for open full-time slots, Kucirek said.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Jeffry Zemanek, a graduate of Steele High School, is sworn in to serve his hometown as a police officer, with mayor David Taylor swearing him in.