“Yet again we are experiencing another outbreak of gun violence in our city this weekend. This intensifying violent crime is devastating for the victims and their families, city residents and visitors, and also threatens the economic well-being of our city.
“Last night in my neighborhood, a fight started within AJ’s bar on Academy Avenue, and spilled out onto the street, where a gun was fired multiple times. Thankfully, no one was shot, but an individual was taken to the hospital with injuries from the altercation. The Providence licensing board held an emergency meeting today and has ordered AJ’s closed until a hearing is held on Monday to determine next steps. Unfortunately, multiple shootings across Providence have occurred in the last two days, killing one person and leaving several others hospitalized.
“These incidents once again highlight the urgency for Providence to fully restore community policing. Unfortunately, under the current Mayor’s administration, our police ranks have dropped to a historic low, and as a result, community policing has not been feasible, our residents have been placed at risk, and police officer morale has suffered. Thankfully, the current police academy will complete in November; as Chairwoman of the Finance Committee, I will work in earnest to find funds to start a new academy immediately after this class graduates. I also will continue to collaborate with my Council colleagues, Providence residents and business owners, and the police department to ensure that the City adds the necessary resources we need to restore safety to our streets and neighborhoods, including additional officers and diversion and intervention services.”