John DiVenere was sworn in as Bristol's tenth chief in April of 1997. His career with the department began in 1978. This was the first time in thirty years that the department appointed a chief from its own ranks. Under his command, the department streamlined its operations through new technology and identified crime hot spots. As a result, overall crime decreased through aggressive enforcement. Under his leadership, DiVenere had created specialty units, increased manpower, and put more officers on the street by hiring civilians to operate the dispatch center. His police career spanned 33 years.