Providence RI July 2, 2020…At tonight’s City Council
Meeting, Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) proposed a resolution urging
the Rhode Island General Assembly to expand the types of degrees eligible for
education reimbursement to law enforcement officers.
In recent weeks the City Council and the Finance Committee
have heard resounding calls for police reform with many residents calling on
the Finance Committee to provide more social services for residents in crisis.
In an effort to expand social service education and
improve educational outcomes for Rhode Island law enforcement, the Council is
urging the Rhode Island General Assembly to revisit Rhode Island General Law
42-28.1 et. seq., which establishes an incentive pay program by which municipalities
can reimburse officers for obtaining educational credits.
Currently, this program allows for officers to be reimbursed
for behavioral science courses only if they are simultaneously enrolled in a
program to obtain a degree in law, law enforcement or criminal justice.
“What the Council has heard for our community members is
that our public safety institutions need to be educated on comprehensive social
and behavioral services. Offering public safety officials a robust range of
educational opportunities from social work to psychology or public health will
allow law enforcement officers to gain new perspectives on how to respond to
crisis situations and engage with their communities,” stated Council President
This resolution requests that the Rhode Island General
Assembly consider expanding education reimbursement to police officers for
courses and degrees in social work, psychology, public health and other social
“It is clear that our current systems are not working to the
best of their ability. Moving forward, the Council will work to support
education, reform and equity in law enforcement while keeping community input
as a top priority,” added Council President Matos.
Upon passage, this resolution will be sent to the Providence
Delegation as well as the Speaker of the House and the Senate President.
For more information, visit our website: https://council.providenceri.gov/