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Quovella “Q” Spruil was sworn in last week as the Essex County Chief of Detectives in Newark, N.J. The promotion makes Mrs. Spruil the first woman and African-American to hold the post with the state’s largest prosecutor’s office.

Spruil, 41, a native of Newark, attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology for her undergraduate engineering studies and then Seton Hall University to gain her master’s degree. She joined the Essex County staff in 1998 as an investigator and quickly rose in the ranks, eventually working on a series of tough cases in the district.

In 2012, Spruil was named Deputy Chief of Detectives, a historic first for a Black woman at the time. In a recent media appearance, Spruil noted that she and Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray are the first female duo to work in their respective roles for a prosecutor’s office.

The news of Spruil’s promotion was met favorably by veterans of the office who are familiar with her working style and trust her to be a capable leader. Despite the budget concerns and other constraints of the job, Spruil aims to provide her officers and administrators with the tools they need to fight crime and do their jobs.

Spruil was flanked by her husband and their two children at the swearing in ceremony in Newark last week.

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