Providence City Council and Mayor Jorge O. Elorza Launch COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program

City Council Brings Charges Against & Seeks Removal Of City Clerk Shawn Selleck For Creating Toxic Work Environment

This evening, the Providence City Council voted unanimously to approve a Providence Home Rule Charter Section 403 resolution to bring charges against City Clerk Shawn Selleck, and to seek his suspension or removal from office. The resolution charges Mr. Selleck with the following:

· Violations of the City Code of Conduct

· Violations of the City Anti-bullying Policy

· Violations of the City Anti-harassment Policy

· Violations of the City Workplace Violence Policy

· Creation of a Toxic Work Environment

· Inappropriate Management

The charges contained in the resolution are based on an independent investigation conducted by respected employment and labor attorney Carly Iafrate, which determined Mr. Selleck violated the City’s Code of Conduct, Anti-Bullying, Anti-Harassment, and Workforce Violence policies through a pattern of bullying, confrontational, and intimidating behavior that created a toxic work environment within the City Clerk’s office.

Pursuant to Section 403, these charges will be presented in writing to the Mayor and Mr. Selleck, and after a 30-day period, the Council will call a public hearing to weigh the charges and vote on the suspension or removal of the City Clerk (two-thirds vote of the Council required).

Providence City Council and Mayor Jorge O. Elorza Launch COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program

Providence City Council Approves New Administrator of Community Relations and Diversion Services Role to Build Police-Community Empathy

Tonight, the Providence City Council voted to approve a new position in the police department to help strengthen community relations and public safety in Providence neighborhoods. The budget ordinance which creates the new position also maintains the funding for the position of an additional Police Major which the Council approved in the original FY 2022 budget ordinances adopted in July.

“We are excited to create this new position. The duties and responsibilities will be to coordinate the efforts of the community relations unit and infuse a culture of equity in the department as it shifts back to community policing and diversion services,” stated Council President John J. Igliozzi. “We heard loud and clear from residents and community organizations that the City needs a return to the approach to policing that includes community building and empathy.”

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Chair of the Finance Committee stated, “The Chief of Police provided the Finance Committee with a job description for the new role and a clearly defined scope and charge, which is in line with a civilian (non-sworn police officer) position in the department. We strongly urge the Mayor to publicly post this high profile position, in order to attract the best candidates in an open and fair process.”

The Administrator of Community Relations and Diversion Services salary is $99,517- $125,905 plus health care and benefits.

“We chose to set the Administrator of Community Relations and Diversion Services salary at a substantial level because this is an important job that requires someone with broad and varied experience, with a track record of effective community building and understanding of diversion services,” stated Ryan.

Second passage of the ordinance is scheduled for October 21st.

Providence Finance Committee Approves Creation of New Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion Position Within Police Department

Providence Finance Committee Approves Creation of New Administrator of Community Relations & Diversion Position Within Police Department

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.

Council President Igliozzi and Members of the City Council Co-Sign Letter Urging Mayor to Support the Reclassification of Community Relations and Diversion Services Position & Addition of New Police Major

Council President Igliozzi and Members of the City Council Co-Sign Letter Urging Mayor to Support the Reclassification of Community Relations and Diversion Services Position & Addition of New Police Major

City Council President John J. Igliozzi, joined by other Council colleagues has sent an open letter urging Mayor Jorge Elorza to work with the Council to reclassify the Community Relations and Diversion Services Police Major position to a Public Safety Community-Police Liaison, and to clarify that the new role is a civilian position. The open letter also notes that the Council is prepared to authorize a new Police Major position to provide a much-needed opportunity for a minority police officer to rise within the department’s ranks.

Today, the budget ordinances will be reintroduced to rename the new position and clarify its scope and role, and to create a new Police Major position.

The full open letter to Mayor Elorza can be found in PDF format using this link.

 

Council President Igliozzi and Members of the City Council Co-Sign Letter Urging Mayor to Support the Reclassification of Community Relations and Diversion Services Position & Addition of New Police Major

Council President Igliozzi Statement Regarding the Appointment of Michael Stevens as Community Relations and Diversion Services Major

“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.”

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