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Huntington police chief dies at 60

Ciccarelli had served in position since 2014

HUNTINGTON — Joseph Ciccarelli, who has served as the police chief for the city of Huntington since 2014, died Monday at age 60.

Mayor Steve Williams announced Ciccarelli’s passing, following a long illness, at that night’s meeting of city council.

“We lost a dear friend today,” Williams said in a statement on the city’s Facebook page. “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.”

Ciccarelli took the police chief position, following a long career in working in police departments and for the FBI in St. Louis. He returned to Huntington, where he began his law enforcement career, in 1998, where he took a position as a special agent and coordinator of the Huntington Violent Crime/Federal Drug Task Force.

Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader has known Ciccarelli for most of her career. She met Ciccarelli when he moved back to Huntington in 1998 when he was still an FBI agent.

“What a good man,” she said. “He was gentleman, very kind, a true public servant, very patriotic. I just loved him, I will miss him dearly.”

“We sat next to each other during City Council meetings and it’s just hard to believe he’s gone,” Rader said.

With Ciccarelli’s death, Williams has appointed Huntington Police Capt. Hank Dial to serve as chief in the interim.

“Capt. Dial is a 26-year veteran of the Police Department in whom I have great confidence,” Williams said. “I will evaluate my options in the coming weeks regarding the permanent appointment of a police chief. At this time, our focus as a community is honoring the life and public service of Chief Ciccarelli.”