Sparta celebrates its new police chief

Spidaletto sworn in; 3 officers promoted

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  • New Sparta Chief of Police Neil Spidaletto with his favorite citizen, daughter Peighton. POhotos by Rose Sgarlato

  • Det. Lt.Terrence Mulligan with his wife Meredith at Mohawk House. Mulligan along with fellow officers Dennis Proctor and John Lamon were promoted to the rank of lieutenant on June2.

  • Neil Spidaletto takes the oath of office last Friday as Chief of Police. By his side, wife Lisa and daughter Peighton along with his father Joseph T. Spidaletto, aretired Sparta Police Lieutenant.

  • Lt.John Lamon, Lt. Dennis Proctor, Chief Neil Spidaletto, Steve Scro of Mohawk House and Lt.Terrence Mulligan at the celebration.

By Rose Sgarlato

Family and friends came from near and far last Friday, June 2, to celebrate Sparta’s newest Chief of Police Neil Spidaletto at an official ceremony followed by a gathering at Mohawk House.

Spidaletto took the oath of office on stage at a police department promotion ceremony at Sparta High School in front of his family, local dignitaries and fellow contemporaries who came from as far as Ohio to share in the festivities.

Also promoted at the ceremony to the rank of lieutenant were former sergeants Terrence Mulligan, John Lamon and Dennis Proctor. the trio will now serve as the Chief of Police's senior supervisory staff.

Spidaletto is succeeding former Chief of Police Ernie Reigstad who retired after 28 years with the department.

Deputy Mayor Josh Hertzberg introduced Spidaletto to the stage.

“To say he is qualified for this job is an understatement,” Hertzberg said. “He has a steady moral compass and natural leadership skills.”

Spidaletto thanked local residents in the audience:

“Your presence here shows your support of the police department. I am fully committed to giving everything I have to this community."

Being grateful to Sparta for his roots and the education it has provided him, the new C=chief gave a special nod to his father, Joseph T. Spidaletto, retired Sparta Police Lieutenant

“I am very proud of my fahter’s career and grateful to have had his guidance over the years. And 25 years later and I am still receiving compliments about my Dad as a police officer,” said Spidaletto. “But I must say it does feel good to officially outrank him.”

Spidaletto continued to speak about the traditional meaning of law enforcement of ‘protecting and serving the public ‘ and how it relates to the present day.

“To sum things up: we must be vigilant and proactive; show compassion and empathy for those in need and come up with new ways to improve our police department.”

After the swearing in of all the men, a party was held at Mohawk House under the direction of owner Steve Scro, longtime friend and supporter of the Sparta Township Police.

“I'm proud to host with partners and friends, The Wiebel Family Companies and First Hope Bank, a celebration to honor the promotions of Neil, Terrence, Dennis and John,” said Scro. “ It is my honor to give thanks and support to the Sparta Police Department and am looking forward to more accomplishments and enhancing the future for our community."

Spidaletto provided the following statement of thanks:

“There were so many individuals that made Friday night a total success and a night that the three lieutenants and I will never forget. We have so many people to thank starting with the Mayor Gill Gibbs, Deputy Mayor Hertzberg, and the Sparta Township Governing Body. The Sparta Township Manager, Mr. William Close, Senator Steve Oroho, Monsignor McHugh, Honorable Judge Conforti, Sparta High School Choir Student, Ryden Mederos, the Morris County Pipes and Drums, Sparta High School Principal Ferraro and Staff for the use of the facility. All of our family, friends, and the community who shared in this very special evening. As always we would like to thank Steve and Rachel Scro, owners of the Mohawk House, for their continued support of the Sparta Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 26. Also a special thanks the Wiebel Family and Don Somma of First Hope Bank for their continued support of our agency and the F.O.P.”

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