Providence, RI (November 19, 2020)…At tonight’s City Council meeting, Councilman Pedro Espinal (Ward 10) introduced a resolution encouraging the Providence Police Department to commit to working towards a more diverse department at all levels. This resolution has been co-sponsored by Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15), Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Finance Chairman John J. Igliozzi Esq. (Ward 7), Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14), Councilwoman Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Councilor Rachel Miller (Ward 13), Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2), and Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1).
“Our City is incredibly diverse. Over 60% of our population is made up of minority residents, yet our police force is 67% white. These numbers just don’t match up. Aligning the demographics of the police department with the communities they help serve will help to build trust between officers and local residents,” stated Councilman Espinal.
While fully diversifying the Police Department will take time, the last graduating cohort of the Police Academy was the most diverse in the history of Providence. This resolution encourages the department to continue to ensure that the next graduating class of the Police Academy is even more diverse than the last and more reflective of the demographic landscape of the City in 2020.
“The Police Department has the opportunity to take immediate action to address the demographic disparities within their ranks by focusing on diversity as they grow their force through the Police Academy. There are so many young men and women of color in our City who are willing to protect and serve their communities,” added Councilman Espinal.
This resolution will be sent to Mayor Jorge Elorza, Steven Pare, Commissioner of Public Safety, and to Col. Hugh Clements, Chief of the Providence Police Department; asking for a commitment to the task of complete diversification, starting with the upcoming Police Academy.