On Saturday, July 4, 2020, a two family home located at 108 Langdon Street caught on fire and was damaged beyond repair. Although the fire is still under investigation there is strong evidence to believe that an illegal firework may have landed on the house causing it to burn.
The two families have been placed in temporary housing and luckily no one was hurt. I want to personally thank the Providence Fire Department for their quick action, and ensuring the safety of the neighboring houses, and residents. Their actions speak volumes to the professionalism of our amazing men and women of the Providence Fire Department.
Thank you to all involved. It’s devastating when anyone loses a home, even more so when it may have been done so because of illegal behavior. If the Fire Marshal does declare that it was an illegal firework I will work with the Police Department and area neighbors to see if they have any video footage from their security cameras from that night.
Nicholas J. Narducci Jr., Senior Deputy Majority Leader
I fully understand that we are living in extraordinary times; I don’t believe any person should be forced to the ground and have a knee held to their neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. That’s incorrigible, and if that happened here in Providence, I would be joining the chorus of outraged voices. I too want justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the countless other lives that have been lost at the hands of police brutality.
That said, I firmly believe that Providence has one of the best Police Departments in the country, and our Providence Community Police Relations Act has become a benchmark for other municipalities around the United States. I strongly support proper and continued education and training for our officers, and would like to see a line item put in this year’s budget to achieve that end.
I am sure that there are members of our police force that have and will abuse their power, but I know that Chief Hugh Clements will do everything in his power to root that out whenever or wherever it may happen.
I want Chief Clements and the men and women of the Providence Police Department to know that I am thankful for the exemplary job they have continued to do under immense scrutiny and in a time of such turmoil.
Nicholas J. Narducci Jr., Senior Deputy Majority Leader
Providence City Council
Councilman – Ward 4
Conley Stadium is returning to its glory days thanks to Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) who secured precious CDBG and CIP Dollars for this project.
“Conley Stadium is a gem in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “We worked very hard to ensure that we could create a premier athletics facility in our City. I am thrilled that this project is almost complete and will be online in the very near future.”
The stadium will once again become an iconic state-wide multi-use athletic location. Because of the number of state-of-the-art fields, Conley Stadium will be able to hold several events happening simultaneously. It is unprecedented in the City of Providence, and the new score board will only enhance the experience for athletes and spectators alike.
They will now be able to host invitational track and field contests, and the facility is second to none. The stadium is right in line with other major athletic centers around the country. They will have the best throwing stadium, a state-of-the-art javelin throw, and with the fields being close yet spread out will make it easier for athletes that compete in multiple events.
Further planned facilities enhancements include a soccer field and tennis courts which will complement the already completed regulation baseball field, walking path and improvements to Mt Pleasant Park.
The Athletics Department is working with the historical society to create a museum underneath the stadium. Highlighting its historical significance and where we can celebrate the Providence Steam Rollers who won the NFL Championship in 1928. The franchise originally started at the Cycledome Stadium, where they played from 1925-1931. They moved to Conley Stadium in 1962 and plaid there until 1964 as part of the Atlantic Coast Football League.
In 1964 Jackie Robinson brought the franchise and renamed themselves the Rhode Island Indians where they played at Conley Stadium for one year until the team was disbanded.
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 Sabina Matos.
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 service fields.
“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.
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 Department.
At tonight’s City Council meeting Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) will introduce two resolutions calling for the City Council to endorse the Rhode Island Foundation’s Chart a Course Stay the Course Report, and the second calls for the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass both House Bill H-7575 and Senate Bill S-2711. These complimentary bills calls for a state referendum, allowing voters to vote to change the state constitution in order to enshrine public education as a fundamental right.
“I want to thank President and CEO Neil Steinberg of the Rhode Island Foundation for his efforts on rethinking education in the State of Rhode Island,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “Bringing together educators, policymakers, leaders from both the non-profit and private sectors, the Rhode Island Foundation has done a great service for our city and state. They have laid out a plan and path for our state’s students to achieve the public education they need and deserve.”
The Chart a Course Stay the Course report was created by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Long Term Education Planning Committee. In December of 2019, they held a public brainstorming session, and their final report was released in February 2020 and included input from more than 300 parents, students, educators, policymakers, and community leaders.
Majority Leader Ryan continued, “The report sets out a clear plan for how our state can fundamentally change the public education system. It is incumbent on all elected officials within our state to review and commit to the roadmap laid out in the Rhode Island Foundation’s comprehensive report. Our children deserve nothing less.”
The Chart A Course Stay the Course report provides a 10-year plan to increase education outcomes in public schools in Rhode Island.
In addition, Majority Leader Ryan will be introducing a resolution supporting and urging passage of House Bill H-7575 and Senate Bill S-2711. These bills would create a referendum to allow Rhode Islanders to vote on amending the state constitution to establish a fundamental right to adequate and meaningful education for all Rhode Islanders.
“In every city and town across the State of Rhode Island, elected officials are tasked with ensuring that precious tax dollars are being spent in ways that are meaningful and have the most impact on our residents. Quality education is not only promised, but it is the very foundation for each of us to reach our full potentials. I urge the members of the General Assembly to take this bold step to make education a fundamental right for all of us.”