‘Dennis' Dad’ Police Chief Joseph Daly, Everyday Hero
Having completed two tours of Vietnam in the Marine Corps and nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, Police Chief Joseph Daly stays on his toes.
Chief Joseph Daly wakes up at 3 a.m. everyday, goes to the gym, and is often seated behind his desk at Springfield Township Police Department by 6 a.m.
He said an average day is anything but routine.
“One thing about police work is we can never predict what the day will be like,” he said.
Daly starts the day with a punch list, but his day-to-day administrative duties, overseeing department operations, are often disrupted.
“Crimes, incidents, phones ring…” he said. “A prerequisite is that you must be extremely flexible for police work. My worst enemy is the phone,” he said on the line with Springfield Patch.
Having completed two tours of Vietnam in the Marine Corps and with nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, Daly is prepared for anything.
For 39 years he rose through the ranks, starting as a patrolman and working his way up to sergeant and captain in Lower Merion. Daly became chief of that department in 1994, serving in that role for 14 years before coming to Springfield in 2009.
Daly said he had initially wanted to work in Springfield Township.
“I looked in to Springfield first, but they weren’t hiring at the time,” he said. “The opportunity presented itself to come here when the former chief [Dominick Spigarelli] was about to leave.”
Daly has been married to his wife, Donna, for over 40 years. They have a son, Dennis, two daughters, Tracy and Donna, and five grandchildren.
Dennis is a Marine, too and now works for the Norwood Police Department.
“Dennis followed in my footsteps but he’s his own man as well,” Daly said. “I’m known as ‘Dennis’ father.’ It tickles me that I’ve been in this business for this long and I’m known as his father.”
Daly’s daughter Tracey works as a real estate agent and Donna works in physical therapy.
When he takes off his police chief hat, Daly spends a lot of time with his family and grandchildren who he said he just “can’t get enough of.”
Daly is the first in his family to be in law enforcement.
“I didn’t really understand my family’s concern for me until my son became a police officer,” Daly said. “I worry about him. It’s dangerous. We have to stay on guard.”
Daly chose a career in law enforcement because “There is no other profession like it in the world. I believe in the Constitution. This is the greatest country on Earth. There is no higher calling. I enjoy working with people who share those same values.”
Under Daly’s leadership, Springfield has the first police department in Delaware County to be accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs' of Police Association.
That accomplishment was the result of multiple inventories and assesments over 22 months in all areas of the department.
“Everything we do here is to guarantee residents of Springfield that they get the services they deserve under strict compliance to state and national standards,” he said.
“I’ve always believed that we’re here to serve the community and provide the best services at the lowest cost. It’s an honor to work with the men and women in this department.”