Youngstown State University student Emma Brenoel, 22, made local history on Sept. 6 when she became the first woman to be sworn in as a full-time Struthers police officer.
Brenoel is taking classes at YSU toward a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on psychology.
She attends part time in order to give her job in Struthers enough attention, and is slowly but surely finishing up her degree.
In turn, she doesn’t need to take out student loans.
Struthers Police Department has had female reserves since being established in 1902, but Brenoel was the first to graduate from officer training school.
In order to be hired, Brenoel had to pass civil service and physical agility tests, and she also had to be experienced with the city.
“As soon as I started the academy, I knew I wanted to work in Struthers,” she said. “I know the city like the back of my hand.”
Brenoel was born and raised in Struthers, but she moved with her parents to Poland when she was in fourth grade.
“I was sad that I even moved from Struthers,” Brenoel said.
Now that she’s back, she said that this is the best place for her to be.
Not only does she expect to get a lot out of the city, but city officials have high hopes for her in return.
Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker and Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy agree that Brenoel was a perfect choice.
“She scored well [and] passed all her tests. She had experience,” Stocker said. “It was perfect timing. She is a valuable asset to the city.”
Roddy agreed, adding, “We are lucky to have her.”
For now, Brenoel is settling into her role as a Struthers police officer. Her eyes are on the future of her education, but she’s in no hurry to chase a degree.
“As long as I get one in the long run,” Brenoel said.