First woman joins Salem police force

SALEM – The city’s first female patrolman recited her oath of office Monday morning, joining the Salem Police Department as one of six new part-time officers.

Catherine Reda said she’s very excited about working for the city. A Salem native who now hails from Girard, she graduated from Rayen High School and earned a licensed practical nursing degree from ETI Technical College and an associate’s degree in business administration from Trumbull Business College Reda graduated from the police academy at Youngstown State University in December and has worked as a toll collector with the turnpike commission.

She’ll be working the day shift, with today her first day on the job.

Chief J.T. Panezott said the city has had female officers on the auxiliary, but Reda will be the first paid female patrolman.

“I think it’s great. It’s long overdue,” he said.

Panezott said he still has two more part-time officers to hire, but expects them to be sworn in possibly later this week. Mayor John Berlin administered the oath of office to Reda in council chambers.

“I’m just so happy to have Catherine as part of the team,” Berlin said.

What he said he’s most happy about, though, is the fact that the city is able to hire some additional patrolmen with the help of Auditor Betty Brothers and approval of city council. The hiring of the part-timers puts more officers out there at the same time.

“I think the best offense besides the Drug Task Force is to have people on the street watching what’s going on,” Berlin said.