Joseph Spera is the Director of Operations for the Drexel University Department of Public Safety and a member of the Public Safety Leadership Team. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of information technology, security technology, emergency communications, CLERY compliance, and communications accreditation for the Drexel University Department of Public Safety.
Spera served with the Philadelphia Police Department for over 20 years. His assignments included patrol, investigative, training, supervisory and administrative duties. He was the training director for the emergency 9-1-1 center and a platoon commander in the 39th Police District. Spera served on several committees including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Smart Highway Project and the police advisory board on disabilities. He developed and implemented programs to provide equal access to 9-1-1 for people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency. In 2003, he retired from the Department at the rank of Lieutenant.
Between 1980 and 2003, Spera served in the Armed Forces. He spent seven years in the Marines Corps Reserves and 16 years in the Air Forces Reserves. From September 2001 through February 2003 he served on active duty in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle performing airbase ground defense duties as a senior non-commissioned officer. He was awarded numerous commendations for his service. Spera retired from the Air Force in 2003 at the rank of Master Sergeant.
In 2008, Joseph was asked to join the Drexel Public Safety team as Director of Operation; he agreed to accept this challenging opportunity. During his first two years at Drexel, he was part of the leadership team that led to the development of the Drexel University Police Department. Starting in his second year, he took on the task of rebuilding the Drexel University Public Safety Communication Center and the implementation of the DrexelAlert Emergency Notification System and Drexel Guardian Tracking System. Spera is responsible for the Drexel University Public Safety Communications Center achieving accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Administrators (CALEA) and was also deeply involved in achieving CALEA Accreditation for the Drexel University Police Department. Drexel remains the only University in the world with a standalone communications center that has achieved CALEA accreditation.
Spera received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree from Touro University International and earned his Master’s Degree in Information Systems at the University of Phoenix.. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police.