Eric Merkel sworn in as Warren City police chief - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Eric Merkel sworn in as Warren City police chief

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WARREN, Ohio - With 20 years of law enforcement service under his belt, Eric Merkel isn't wasting any time assuming his newest role, chief-of-police for the City of Warren.

"They are a few players in this town that seem to think they are outside of the law. If we address those people, I think crime is going to take a significant decrease," Merkel says.

Crime has been a problem plaguing the city for a number of years, but Merkel, who's been with the department since 1995, has a few new strategies in mind on how to best tackle the problem.

"We are going to start a street crimes unit as soon as we can that is going to address anything from abandoned cars to the violent crime," Merkel says.

The new approach has created a new excitement among the force.

"Just talking to members from patrolman all of the way up to lieutenant and captains, there is a new excitement just because of the new leadership that is in place.  That is not a knock on the old leadership, they did an excellent job, but this is a cultural shift within the department," said Mayor Doug Franklin.

The police department will grow by four Wednesday with the hiring of new patrol officers, a move Merkel believes will help the departments man-power issue.

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