“The City Council strongly supports the creation of a Community Relations and Diversion Services Major position to build greater trust between our police force and the diverse communities of our city. That is why we included funding for such a position in our FY 2022 budget.
Michael Stephens has a commendable record of community leadership and service with the Providence Recreation Department. These are admirable qualifications for a civilian community-police liaison position.
They are, however, not the qualifications for the position of Major within the Providence Police Department’s command structure, particularly as many other trained officers have worked hard to move up the ranks within our police force.
The City Council stands ready to work with Mayor Elorza to change the name and scope of this position from Providence Police Department Major to Public Safety Community-Police Liaison. This will resolve any confusion about roles and make clear that this is a civilian position.”