YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — One of four new police officers sworn in Thursday is no stranger to the police department or the city.
Laura Fulmer, whose husband Detective Sgt. Jerry Fulmer is a homicide detective for the department, took the oath to be a patrolman after spending 17 years as a housing code enforcement officer.
Her husband pinned her badge on her after taking the oath of office from Mayor Jamael Tito Brown. They have been married for 21 years.
Laura said with the ages of the couple’s kids, now was a good time for her to transition over from housing to police. She is a graduate of the police academy and has held a commission as a special police officer in the city since 2005, which was when she began her career in housing.
Ultimately, Laura said she wants to do the same kind of work her husband does.
“Since I was young, I always wanted to be a detective,” she said.
Joining Fulmer in taking the oath was Deanna Jordan, 32, of Youngstown; Keilan Beachum, 33, of Youngstown; and Chad Redfern, 28, who is originally from Pennsylvania.
The four will begin in service training Monday before they go on the road with a field training officer (FTO). The new officers will ride with an FTO on each of the department’s three shifts for a period of four to six months before they are given a beat of their own.
Jordan has spent time as a police officer in Lowellville, New Middletown and Youngstown State University. She said she wanted to join Youngstown’s department because as the largest department in the area, it offers a lot of different opportunities for different kinds of police work.
“The policing dynamic is different,” she said. “This is some place I have always wanted to work for.”
Beachum, who grew up on the East Side, said he decided to become a police officer because he wants to give back to his hometown.
“I wanted to make a difference,” he said.
Beachum is currently a member of the police academy at Youngstown State University and will begin his training when he completes the academy.
Redfern’s had law enforcement stints with Sebring police and the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. He said he wanted to join Youngstown’s department because he wants to explore different types of police work.
“It’s a larger department,” he said.
Police Chief Carl Davis said one thing the new class of officers brings to the table is experience. He said because they are a bit older than the average new officer and their life experience will be an asset.
“It’s an asset because they bring that experience and patience to the younger officers,” Davis said. “It’s a total package.”
The Fulmers both said that with Jerry working a variety of positions in the department during his 23-year career, they are ready for the realities that police work brings, including working different shifts.
They said they are used to split schedules because of shift work.