Joe Wren has made a name for himself in Ceres as one of the Ceres police canine handlers. His four-footed partner, Zeus, has aided in an estimated 200 surrenders without being unleased. The dog has been retired, however, after an on-the-job injury.
Wren gave up his job as a canine handler last Friday when he was named the Ceres Police Department's newest sergeant. He was promoted at a special promotional ceremony held at the Ceres Community Center attended by his wife Michelle Wren.
Wren replaces Sgt. John King who recently left a 12-year career at CPD to become an officer with South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
Ten sergeants help oversee the 48 sworn officers employed by Ceres Police Department.
Wren was selected as one of three qualified sergeant candidates who passed a grueling assessment center held on August 21, and after being interviewed by Acting Chief Brent Smith the following day. Smith said the other two applicants performed very well and will remain on the eligibility list for promotion as positions become available over the next six months to year.
Wren attended the police academy in 1996 with Lieutenant Rick Collins and Traffic Sergeant Chris Perry and became a police officer at another agency. During his law enforcement career, he was on SWAT, a detective, a field training officer, and a member of the dive team. In 2006, Wren brought all that experience to Ceres Police Department and was selected to be a K9 handler the following year. As part of the canine unit, he worked with his K9 partners Axel and Zeus.
Wren was one of four officers recently recognized by Chief Smith for acts of valor during the April 12, 2012 Modesto standoff in which Sheriff's Deputy Robert "Bob" Paris, 53, was murdered along with Modesto locksmith Glendon Engert, 35. The standoff occurred while Paris was serving an eviction notice at a fourplex in the Whispering Woods complex at 2141 Chrysler Drive in Modesto.
Wren and Venn drove to Modesto and with a deputy entered the field of fire in an attempt to rescue Engert. Within feet of the suspect's apartment, Wren and the deputy grabbed Engert to a place where he was given medical aid in vain.
Wren was selected as the American Red Cross Law Enforcement Hero of the Year in 2007 and 2013, has been awarded the Chief's Award and recently received a Medal of Valor.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and an MBA.
When Joe is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family: his wife, Michelle, his three kids, and two dogs. Flying is also one of his recreational pursuits, as he almost finished with his pilot training.