Mayor-Elect Elorza Retains Public Safety Commissioner and Chief of Police

Mayor-Elect Elorza Retains Public Safety Commissioner and Chief of Police; Announces New Protocols to Address Community Concerns

Providence, RI
– Mayor-elect Jorge O. Elorza Friday announced his decision to retain Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré and Police Chief Hugh T. Clements.

“Commissioner Paré and Colonel Clements have decades of experience in law enforcement, and I am confident in their ability and commitment to serving the people of Providence,” Mayor-elect Elorza said. “We know that nothing else matters unless people feel safe, and together, we will work to restore and strengthen community policing and address the conditions that give rise to violence in our City.”

Under Commissioner Paré and Colonel Clements, Providence is currently experiencing among its lowest overall crime rates in decades.

This year, the Providence Police Department earned national accreditation from the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, and the New England Police Chiefs Association award for Community Policing.

Mayor-elect Elorza announced that in January, the Providence Police Department will implement the following new protocols to address community concerns regarding police conduct and the relationship between the police and the community:

•      Issue officers written policies and procedures governing the use of a mobile data terminal in a police vehicle when conducting a record check on a motor vehicle license or registrant

•      Assign supervisory personnel to conduct monthly reviews of each officer's stop and search documentation to ensure compliance with department policies and procedures

•      Conduct quarterly reviews of the traffic stop data to determine whether any racial disparities exist and respond appropriately to any such disparities

•      Direct citizens to the Office of Professional Responsibility or the department's website if they think it is necessary to file a formal complaint against a member of the department

•      Seek funding to purchase body cameras

At the same time, Commissioner Paré and Chief Clements are playing key roles in the effort to pass comprehensive statewide legislation to address such concerns. The Comprehensive Community Police Relationship Act was approved by the Rhode Island Senate in June and is under review in the state House of Representatives. Paré and Clements will continue to work with the House and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association on full passage of the bill.

As Public Safety Commissioner, Paré is responsible for policy development and budgetary oversight of the Providence Police Department; Providence Fire Department; Providence Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security; and the Providence Communications Department. Prior to his appointment as Public Safety Commissioner in 2011, he served as Director of Global Security Affairs at GTECH and for 27 years in the Rhode Island State Police, ultimately as State Police Superintendent.

Clements joined the Providence Police Department in 1985, beginning as a night patrol officer and rising steadily through the ranks before being appointed as Police Chief in 2012 by Mayor Angel Taveras.

(release from City of Providence)