At tonight’s City Council meeting, Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) introduced a resolution recognizing the 50-year anniversary of Providence College admitting women to their student body and faculty.
“It is hard to believe that just 50 years ago, women remained limited in their choices for their education, careers and lifestyles. Yet, as the world has modernized, the contributions women have made to their schools, workplaces, families and communities have been innumerable. Both my daughter and I received our Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Administration and MBA Degrees from Providence College, and my family has been so grateful for the opportunities afforded to us thanks to the institution,” stated Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5).
In 1971, Providence College broke the decades long precedent of male exclusivity to modernize their campus and make room for the dynamic and diverse contributions that women would bring to their staff and student body. Since Providence College was founded in 1917, many graduates have gone on to serve their communities as Providence City Councilors. Councilwoman Ryan is the first female graduate of Providence College to serve on the City Council.
“Providence College is among the top employers in the city of Providence. As we look to our past, we can appreciate the progress we have made through the decades. And as we move into the future, I look forward to continuing to work with our valued local institutions to ensure inclusivity and equal opportunities for all,” added Councilwoman Ryan.
Councilwoman Ryan (Ward 5) was elected in 2014. She currently serves as Chair of the City Council Finance Committee, City Board of Investment Commissioner and Member of the City Retirement Board and Water Supply Board. During her tenure she has served in a number of leadership roles including Council Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Chair of the Council Ordinance Committee.
PROVIDENCE, RI – City Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) issued the following statement regarding ongoing gun violence in the city:
“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.”
Providence Finance Committee Approves Creation of New Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion Position Within Police Department
Ordinances clarify that new position is civilian with no law enforcement powers, while retaining new Major position within the Providence Police Department for a qualified law enforcement professional.
This evening, the Providence City Council’s Committee on Finance voted to approve two ordinances creating and funding a new civilian “Administrator of Community Relations and Diversion” position within the Providence Police Department. The ordinance creating the position clearly details the duties of the new administrator position as a civilian within the police department with no law enforcement powers.
“When my colleagues on the City Council learned that a newly created Major position within the Providence Police Department was being filled with a civilian with no previous policing experience, we heard loud and clear from police and community organizations that this would create confusion about roles, while also passing over highly qualified officers within the police department,” said Councilwoman and Finance Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “This was not what the Council intended when we included this position in our original FY 2022 budget, and why we have passed this new amended ordinance, sponsored by Council President Igliozzi, which very clearly details that the Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion is a civilian, administrative position within the police department with no law enforcement powers.”
Continued Ryan, “The Council supports the need for this position to better build trust between our police and the diverse communities across our city. By passing these ordinances we will create this new Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion position while also preserving the Major position within the Providence Police Department for a highly qualified law enforcement professional.”
“We all agree on the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Providence Police Department, while also improving community-police relations. This ordinance will do just that by creating a new Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion position within the police department, and explicitly defining this as a civilian role,” said Council President John Igliozzi (Ward 7). “I commend Chairwoman Ryan and my colleagues on the Finance Committee for their work on this ordinance and look forward to its passage by the full City Council in the coming weeks.”
A job description for the new Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion position has been created and can be found here.
The ordinances approved by the Finance Committee will now go to the full City Council for final approval, expected in October.
Providence City Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) has announced a major road safety project on Mount Pleasant Avenue which will begin next year. The safety improvements come after a multi-year planning effort by Ryan, along with neighbors, local businesses, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and the City of Providence.
“After the tragic death in 2017 of a high school teacher walking across Mount Pleasant Avenue as she left work, I brought my neighbors and other stakeholders together with traffic experts to develop a plan to prevent this kind of horrible accident from happening again. On any given day, Mount Pleasant Avenue is bustling with vehicle and pedestrian traffic from the schools, residences, and small businesses that make their home there. We must ensure that this important neighborhood thoroughfare is safe for everyone,” stated Councilwoman Ryan.
The road safety improvement project will invest approximately $2 million into the installation of numerous features along Mount Pleasant Avenue between Smith Street and Beaufort Street. Some of these improvements include new concrete sidewalks, raised crosswalks, new pavement and striping, traffic signal improvements, school zone flashing beacons, and ADA compliant curb ramps. Based on input from residents and local businesses, the plan does not include a bike lane. The City Council tonight approved the resolution authorizing the City to enter into a construction and maintenance agreement with RIDOT for this project.
“Providence residents should feel safe on the streets where they drive to work and patronize local businesses, and where their children catch the bus or walk to school. I am proud to have facilitated the important conversations between neighbors and the state Department of Transportation that have led to a plan to make Mount Pleasant Avenue a safer and more functional street in our city,” added Councilwoman Ryan.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will be releasing the plan and providing details at an upcoming public briefing. Visit their project page at https://bit.ly/3luVN7k to learn more and to sign-up for updates.
30 ATVs confiscated in just the last two weeks, since Igliozzi and Ryan called for enforcement of the City Council’s ATV ordinances
City Council President John Igliozzi (Ward 7) and Councilwoman and Finance Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) are commending the Providence Police Department for cracking down on illegal ATVs, which led to the seizure of 30 ATVs over just the last two weeks.
“Nearly three weeks ago, I called a special session of the Providence City Council to address crime including roving gangs of illegal ATVs that have been terrorizing our neighborhoods,” said Council President Igliozzi. “At that hearing, I called for immediate action to enforce existing City Council ordinances designed to stop these illegal vehicles. That is why I am so pleased to see the reports that 30 ATVs have been confiscated in just the last two weeks. This is an impressive increase in enforcement given that over the past 4 years, only approximately 50 ATVs have been confiscated each year. I want to thank the Providence Police Department and our dedicated police officers for their work on this important public safety and quality of life issue, and for permanently removing 30 more illegal ATVs from our streets.”
“Out of control ATV gangs have been thumbing their nose at our laws and causing fear in our neighborhoods for far too long. In 2017 I drafted and enacted legislation to keep dangerous ATVs off our City streets. In doing so, my Council colleagues and I created a clear, legal framework that prohibited the operation of illegal ATVs and gave the Providence Police Department the power to seize and destroy any ATVs operating illegally. I want to thank the Providence Police Department for recently confiscating 30 of these illegal vehicles and responding to our call for enforcement,” said Councilwoman Ryan. “While there is more to be done, this is real and immediate action to enforce ordinances already passed by the City Council to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Early this morning, my neighbors and I were alerted to a shelter-in-place order due to a domestic abuse situation that led to the assailant firing gunshots at a police officer, and then barricading himself inside a house.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Providence Police Department, who worked diligently to keep residents in my neighborhood safe, and apprehended this armed and dangerous individual without any injuries or loss of life. Officers demonstrated their professionalism and training, and effectively protected the public’s safety. They secured the scene, kept residents safe in their homes, and arrested the suspect without firing a single shot. I commend their great work. I also want to thank our partners in state law enforcement who provided the additional equipment necessary to bring the standoff to a safe resolution.
This was a terrifying situation for my neighbors, as well as for everyone involved in the incident, and it highlights the urgency of our city’s current crime crisis. I am beyond grateful that nobody was injured, including the officer who was shot at while in the line of duty. I will continue collaborating with the Providence Police to put a stop to the current crime wave and to provide them with the resources necessary to protect the public.