PROVIDENCE, RI (July 2, 2020)…City Council Majority Leader
Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) tonight introduced a resolution requesting continuing
education requirements for Providence police officers.
"After a nine-hour public hearing where the Committee
on Finance heard from nearly 250 individuals expressing their concerns around
police training, tactics, and funding, I felt that one of the actionable items
we can implement immediately is continuing education programs for our police
officers," stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. "Countless
professional fields require annual continuing education, and I don't think a
police department should be any different. Currently, there are no continuing
education mandates in the City of Providence for our police officers. Training
around cultural competency, mental health, and other technical skill programs
would help to keep our officers abreast of the latest industry developments and
to higher professional standards."
Evaluating how our police department can best serve our community
is not only being reviewed at the city level, but also at the state level. The
Rhode Island General Assembly has tasked Senator Harold Metts of Providence
with leading the review of a wide array of policing issues including:
relations with racial and ethnic minority communities; police management,
discipline procedures; enhanced police training around cultural competency, and
diversity of personnel across all law enforcement agencies state-wide. The task
force will author a report that can help guide the General Assembly's policy
making in these and other areas.
Majority Leader Ryan continued, "I know Providence has
an excellent police department, but our officers’ training shouldn't end with
the Academy graduation. It is important as city leaders that we provide our
employees with the tools they need to succeed. Creating continuing education
guidelines, programs and standards will help our police officers be better
prepared for many of the challenges that they face while at work.”
"I look forward to working with the Committee on
Finance to find the resources in our FY '21 Budget to implement education and
training programs so we can better provide our public servants with the skills
necessary to be their best.” stated Majority Leader Ryan.
Upon passage of the resolution, it will be sent to Mayor
Elorza, Commissioner of Public Safety Paré, and asks them to work with the
Fraternal Order of Police to implement an annual continuing education and
training certification requirement for all members of the Providence Police
For more information, visit us on the web at council.providenceri.org.