Sheriff’s Dept. promotes and swears in new officers

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced promotions and the hiring of several sheriff’s officers during a swearing-in ceremony held at the Leroy Smith Public Safety Building on July 8. Among those promoted were Chief James Spango, who previously served as a deputy chief; Undersheriff Fitzgerald Figliuolo, who also served as a deputy chief; and seven new superior officers.

“Our department prides itself on having only the finest and most dedicated men and women serve within our ranks as we continue our long service of excellent public safety leadership for the residents of our community,” Fontoura said in a press release. “Our legacy of outstanding service has been repeated and applauded by our law enforcement partners, our clergy, community groups and, most importantly, by our neighbors.”

Spango is a lifelong resident of Essex County, hailing from West Orange. He is a graduate of Seton Hall Prep, Seton Hall University and Seton Hall Law School, where he earned his undergraduate, master’s and law degrees.

“As a 14-year veteran our department, Chief Spango has already acquired vast experience, vital institutional knowledge and hands-on expertise as the supervising officer of all of our department’s financial, budgetary, purchasing and human resource matters,” Fontoura said. “Along with his outstanding police, communications and management skills, our new chief has also proved himself to be a brilliant leader, motivator and mentor of younger officers. Chief Spango is the consummate professional and we are extremely confident that he will continue to be an invaluable asset for our department and our community. His promotion today is well earned and it reflects upon his many achievements, hard work, long hours and conscientiousness.”

Figliuolo is also a lifelong Essex County resident and a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s department.

“‘Fitz,’ as everyone calls him, is known for his excellent work ethic, professionalism and expertise,” Fontoura said. “He most recently supervised the department’s Executive Protection Unit. He is the recipient of numerous departmental honors, including a Valor Award from the 200 Club of Essex County for his heroic actions during Hurricane Sandy. Undersheriff Figliuolo also possesses a wealth of experience and expertise with our Office of Emergency Management as well as previously serving with distinction in our Bureau of Criminal Identification, Courts Division and Detective Bureau.”

In addition to a new chief and undersheriff, the Sheriff’s Office promoted a new captain, three new lieutenants and three new sergeants, and hired 21 new officers.

Photos Courtesy of Julian Coltre