Joseph Spillane

Deputy Chief | Field Operations Division

Deputy Chief Joseph P. Spillane has over 28 years of service with the Atlanta Police Department, having served in five of the six police precincts and in a variety of specialized assignments. He currently commands the Strategies and Special Projects Division which is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the department’s strategic crime fighting initiatives and implementing new technologies and projects. The division consists of the Video Integration Center (VIC), Planning & Research/Accreditation, Staff Inspections, Crime Analysis, The Retired Officers Force, and the Atlanta Police Leadership Institute (APLI).

Deputy Chief Spillane began his career in April of 1988 after serving four years with the United States Air Force. He graduated from the Atlanta Police Academy in October of 1988 as the valedictorian of class # 130 and served as a patrolman in Zone Six and Zone Two. While in Zone Two, Deputy Chief Spillane was awarded the Departments second highest award, the Meritorious Service Medal for removing residents from a burning apartment building. 

In 1992, he was appointed the rank of Detective and worked in the Financial Investigations Unit and on loan to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Asset Forfeiture Unit He also worked in the Computer Services Unit on a variety of technology projects.

He was promoted to Sergeant in February of 1996 and assigned to Zone Five. Deputy Chief Spillane was assigned to the Joint Command Center during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, serving in the Computer Services Unit as the Computer Systems Network Engineer.

He was promoted to Lieutenant in September of 1998 and assigned to Zone One where he served as the Evening Watch Commander. On December 16, 1999 he was appointed to the rank of Major and assigned as the Zone 2 Commander where he served for 6 ½ years, building trust and partnerships with the Zone 2 Community, earning the prestigious Bullish on Buckhead award in 2003 from the Buckhead Business Association.

After his service in Zone Two, he was assigned to the Atlanta Police Academy, where he earned his General and Senior Instructor Ratings as well as certification as a Defensive Tactics Instructor and Taser Instructor by the Georgia Peace Officer Training and Standards Council (P.O.S.T.). 

After serving at the Academy he was appointed the position of Assistant Zone Commander and assigned to Zone 5. While in Zone 5, Deputy Chief Spillane was awarded his second Meritorious Service Medal for lifesaving for removing a critically wounded man from a basement after a shootout with police in order to provide medical treatment. He was appointed to the rank of Captain on July 22, 2010 and assigned as the Assistant Zone Commander in Zone 4.

After serving in Zone 4 he was reassigned the rank of Major and placed in charge of the Information Services Section, which includes the Central Records unit, the Validations Unit, The Identification Unit (CSI) the Photo Lab and the Electronics Maintenance Unit. 

Promoted to Deputy Chief in October 2013, he commanded the Strategy and Special Projects Division briefly until his assignment as the Field Operations Division Commander. Deputy Chief Spillane Commanded the Field Operations Division from January of 2013 to June of 2016.

Deputy Chief Spillane holds a Managerial Certificate from P.O.S.T. and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, graduating summa cum laude from Saint Leo University. He also holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Critical Incident Management. He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) class 54 held in Boston, Ma. Deputy Chief Spillane is a participant in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), having recently attended training in Israel.  He is also a member of International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), Major Cities Chiefs (MCC) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)


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