Huntington, WV – Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli died Monday, Jan. 22 after a long battle with cancer. He was remembered for his dedication to his hometown, and many decades of service in local and federal law enforcement.
“We lost a dear friend today,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “Chief Joe was brave, and he demonstrated courage that inspired us all. Joe’s bright smile will be missed as well as his gentle but determined demeanor. He was dedicated to his love for his family, service to his community, and loyalty to his department. Most of all, he was a Huntington Police officer. We will miss our friend.”
Chief Ciccarelli was a local boy who graduated from Marshall University in the 1970s with a degree in criminal justice, and began his career in law enforcement with the Huntington Police.
He was an officer and a detective for Huntington before he left to go work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1984.
Chief Ciccarelli began his FBI career as a special agent in St. Louis, where he investigated white-collar crimes, organized crime, and labor racketeering cases, according to a press release from the city.
He moved to Miami in 1987 and served as special agent, and then supervisory special agent, in the Organized Crime/Drug Program. In that role, he supervised many large-scale international drug investigations, and acted as the drug program coordinator for his division for three years.
Chief Ciccarelli never forgot where he came from, and he returned to Huntington with the FBI in 1998 to serve as a special agent and coordinator of the Huntington Violent Crime/Federal Drug Task Force.
After that, he was the supervisory senior resident agent in Charleston, with oversight of FBI operations in the Southern District of West Virginia.
For four years, Chief Ciccarelli was the senior resident agent in Huntington, and then he spent two more years as a special agent in Charleston, heading up criminal investigations with a focus on public corruption and crimes against children.
He became Huntington’s police chief on September 29, 2014, and finished his career with his original police department.
The chief was known throughout the community for his caring nature, and easy smile. He regularly participated in activities for the children in his jurisdiction.
“The men and women of the Huntington Police Department and our community have lost a dedicated law enforcement officer and experienced leader,” Huntington City Council Chairman Mark Bates said in the city's news release. “On behalf of my colleagues on Huntington City Council, we send our deepest condolences to Chief Ciccarelli’s family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
Chief Ciccarelli was a six-time recipient of the U.S. Attorney’s Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer’s Award. He also received the U.S. Attorney’s Career Achievement Award.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chief Joe Ciccarelli, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.