Thursday, August 4, 2016
Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott is expected to announce today that Deputy Police Chief Donald J. “DJ” Fuhrmann Jr. is retiring from the city after 28 years of service and will become the new chief of police at Mercyhurst University.
Sinnott and Mercyhurst Provost David Dausey were to make the joint announcement at a press conference this morning at City Hall.
President Michael T. Victor was out of town and could not attend. However, he recognized Fuhrmann’s reputation for honesty and candor and his experience managing police personnel. “We believe that DJ will be a great asset to the university in leading our Police and Safety Department and we are eager to welcome him to our college community,” Victor said.
Fuhrmann replaces Robert Kuhn, a former City of Erie assistant police chief, who retired as Mercyhurst’s chief earlier this summer following six years of service. Fuhrmann begins his Mercyhurst tenure on Aug. 10. He will oversee 10 full-time and four pat-time police officers and two additional security personnel.
During his 28 years with the city, Fuhrmann managed small police units as a sergeant before culminating his career as deputy chief of Erie’s 173-member police department. He also served as a liaison to other law enforcement agencies, support services and community organizations, and was a member of the SWAT team for seven years.
“My motivation for building community relationships and employing innovative police techniques fuel my desire to serve at Mercyhurst,” he said.
More personally, though, Fuhrmann is part of a prolific legacy family at Mercyhurst. He graduated from the university in 1987, following in the footsteps of his late mother and two sisters. Today, he lives within walking distance of Mercyhurst and can often be seen on campus with the family dogs: “Ethel” Merman Fuhrmann and “Ella” Fitzgerald Fuhrmann.
Besides earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Fuhrmann did advanced studies at the FBI National Academy and the Police Staff and Command School at Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety.
Fuhrmann and his wife, Holly, have been married for 33 years and are the parents of one son, Donald J. “Jacob” Fuhrmann III, and three daughters, Jessica Mento, Kathryn Wilkosz and Abbey Fuhrmann. They are the proud grandparents of four boys and one girl.