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Deputy Chief Joseph Perno began his career with the West Haven Police Department as a Supernumerary Patrolman on October 18, 1977. During his career as a patrol officer, Deputy Chief attended numerous training classes including Drug Enforcement Training as well as a State's Attorney's Law Enforcement Training Program.
In 1982, then Officer Perno, received two letters of commendation for his exceptional police work when he apprehended an armed subject who had an automatic weapon. The second letter of commendation he received was when he apprehended an armed subject who was threatening to take the life of a victim while armed with a two weapons.
In 1988, Officer Perno also received commendations for his apprehension of a person who was armed and wanted on robbery and conspiracy charges from a West Haven business. He also received a commendation for apprehending a subject who had fired a gun inside his residence and threatened to kill his girlfriend.
In 1989, Officer Perno received a commendation for his response to a shooting of a State Trooper and a West Haven Detective. Officer Perno assisted in securing the area and provided cover for the wounded officers and medical personnel who were attending to the injured officers.
Also in 1989, he received a letter of commendation for his assisting the New Haven Police Department in apprehending a homicide suspect. The suspect was also part of a drug distribution network. This assistance led to the arrest of two additional felony offenders and recovered a .38 caliber handgun.
In November 1989, Officer Perno was appointed a SWAT team member and was later promoted to the rank of Sergeant on January 11, 1991.
Within his time as a Sergeant, he was assigned to the patrol division and then assigned to the Street Crime Unit. He was also appointed Assault Team Leader of the SWAT team.
On July 18, 2002, Sgt. Perno was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where he served as a Shift Commander for the Patrol Division.
On March 19, 2010, Lieutenant Joseph Perno was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief.
Deputy Chief Joseph Perno is a lifelong resident of West Haven.