New Sergeants!

Mar 24th, 2023

Chief David Splain proudly announces two hard-earned promotions in the Nether Providence Township Police Department.

Detective Michael Erickson and Patrolman Michael Markunas are now sergeants, joining Sgts. Robert Elmore, Michael Montgomery and Patrick Fisher in a supervisory role. 

“Sergeants have a pivotal role in the department, and I am pleased to add Detective Sgt. Erickson and Sgt. Markunas to the rank,” Splain said. “Between them, they have more than a half-decade of experience in law enforcement, and most of that time was spent here in the township. I look forward to many more years.” 

It was a family affair at the Board of Commissioners meeting on March 23, as Detective Sgt. Erickson and Sgt. Markunas took their oaths, sworn in by Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth Gallard before a crowd of family and friends. Fellow Nether Providence officers were on hand, along with representatives of many local police departments. 

Both men expressed pride in their work, as well as an eagerness to begin serving the residents of Nether Providence in their new position.

Markunas is a 32-year law enforcement veteran, serving the last 20 years in Nether Providence. The son of the late Robert and Dorothy Markunas, he described his parents as “the most influential people” in his life. Having his wife, Karen, and their children, Addison and Amelia, hold the Bible as he took his oathwas a surreal moment. His brothers and sister, along with his father-in-law, Ron Wiernicki, were in attendance. 

“This promotion means more to me than anyone can fathom. The Nether Providence Police Department has given me so much over the years and I wanted the challenge of becoming a front-line supervisor,” Markunas said. “I am excited to accept this position and I do so with a humble heart.”

Growing up, Markunas was always fascinated by police officers. Looking back, he considers his late Uncle Richard Burke, a police officer with the Upper Darby Township Police Department, his inspiration. Burke retired about the same time Markunas began his career in Ridley Park, followed by stints in Darby and Trainer boroughs. To this day, he considers Trainer Borough Police Chief Fran Priscopo and retired Ridley Park Police Chief Tom Byrne, his mentors. 

In addition to serving the Nether Providence Police Department, Markunas is a member of the Delaware County Major Incident Response Team and serves as a Youth Aid Panel Liaison Officer.He has previous experience as a hostage negotiator and was awarded a Negotiator Laurel for his actions that prevented a threat to life. He is also a certified Field Training Officer for the department. 

Markunas has earned numerous awards and citations throughout his career, including the Prevention Partnership Award from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for work he performed on the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education Task Force. His is a familiar face at both Strath Haven middle and high schools, where he has led presentations on drugs, alcohol abuse and addiction. 

Erickson is a 25-year law enforcement veteran, serving 23 in the township and 17 as a detective. He previously worked for the Delaware County Park Police, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the Morton Borough Police Department. 

He and fellow Detective James Irey are cross designated officers with Homeland Security Investigations – Border EnforcementSecurity Task Force. He and Irey also serve as members of the Delaware County Narcotics Task Force. 

With Erickson as he recited the oath was his spouse, Karyn, and children, Sean, Ryan and Nolan. Son Paddy was not able to attend the ceremony. 

Erickson’s parents, Edward and Maureen Erickson, looked on with pride from the audience. He attributes his strong work ethic to his mom and dad. “They have always supported me and my career choice,” Erickson said. 

He considers Capt. John McKenna, retired chief of the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division, a great mentor, along with Park Police Chief Sam Ziviello. 

Erickson expressed gratitude to Karyn and their four children for being his anchors.

“They support me and forgive me for the moments I’ve missed during this journey,” Erickson said.

“I wanted to be a police officer to help those who can’t help themselves, or those who need help but have no one to turn to,” he continued. “I like being a part of the brotherhood of policing and being a part of the community in which I serve.” 

He called his promotion to detective sergeant an honor. 

“I’m honored to oversee a specialized unit like investigations, to have a role in shaping the future and direction of the departmentand being a mentor to new officers starting their career,” Erickson said.

We congratulate both officers and know they will continue to do a great job.