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Sproveri named new Police Chief

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry City of Warren Police Chief Joe Sproveri.

The City of Warren Police Department has a new chief.

Chief Joe Sproveri took took the helm on July 26, following the retirement of former Chief Brandon Deppen.

Sproveri is a 14-year veteran of the department.

He graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Then, “I attended the police academy at Mercyhurst,” he said.

He started with the Warren department shortly after his graduation in mid-December.

“I moved to Warren on Christmas night to start here,” Sproveri said. “This has been my only police officer job.”

He moved up through the ranks in Warren.

“I’ve held almost every position here — mostly in patrol as a patrol officer and a patrol supervisor,” Sproveri said. “I’ve been here since 2006. I worked in patrol and was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2012.”

He was promoted again to captain in 2019.

During his time with the department, Sproveri has had numerous certifications — taser instructor, firearms instructor, National Rifle Association patrol rifle instructor, chemical munitions instructor, and field training officer.

His experience in all of those roles will help him as chief.

“My primary role now is to make sure these guys have everything they need to do the job that they’re supposed to do,” Sproveri said.

The chief’s duties are largely administrative. “Proper budgeting, manpower allocation, making sure all policies are in line with accreditation standards,” he said.

“My first goal is to evaluate how our department is structured to ensure that manpower is allocated in the most efficient way possible to be as proactive as we can be and better serve the community.”

His involvement with the Warren County Drug Task Force has changed as he was promoted within the department — from case agent to assistant coordinator, and since 2019, in an advisory role.

“I completed executive level certification through Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command,” he said.

Sproveri became the department’s accreditation officer in 2018.

Accreditation is a big deal for the department.

“The accreditation allows us to be a very professionalized police department,” he said. “We’re very well squared away with our policies.”

“Chief (Ray) Zydonik brought the accreditation program here from his experience in the Harrisburg area,” Sproveri said.

“Chief (Brandon) Deppen created a community service program the likes of which this area has never seen,” he said.

“I worked under Chief Zydonik and Chief Deppen and both made great strides in professionalizing and modernizing our department,” Sproveri said. “I will continue to move forward in those directions.”

He has praise for those who are still serving in the department, as well.

“We have a very professionalized police department and we have a very strong group of officers with varying experience,” he said. “How fortunate the community is to have the group of officers that we have here.”

Sproveri grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania, but didn’t spend much time in Warren.

“I had played baseball at Betts Park and football at War Memorial Field,” he said. “That was my only experience with Warren. 14 years later, it’s home.”

“My wife and I are raising a family here,” he said. “We’re involved in the community.”

“In this day and age with widespread anti-police sentiment, it is critical now more than ever to be transparent and building community trust,” Sproveri said.

He said all officers wear body cameras while they are on duty. “I’ve already shown multiple different body camera (images) to citizens who had concerns about things they had heard on social media about certain incidents,” he said. “Each time, they found that that what they had been told was not factual.”

“I’m very thankful to live and work in a community that supports us s greatly as they do,” Sproveri said. “Look at the pro-police rally that was recently held on the Veterans Memorial Bridge. It makes you proud to live and serve in a community like we have.”

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