Progress in Providence Police/Community Relations
Progress In Providence, Rhode Island Community/Police Relations

Recent Positive Results

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While not minimizing the seriousness of anyone losing or being disciplined on their jobs, this page attempts to spotlight positive results to the community as a whole.

Police Disciplinary Actions
Recent Disciplinary Actions

While the opinions of what discipline is appropriate regarding negative incidents with police vary considerably, we highlight these recent cases.

Discipline was meted out in the now infamous "Air Freshener Traffic stop" involving Dana Harris.

Discipline was meted out in an incident regarding the "jump outs" and Kobi Dennis' son.

A Providence police officer assigned to the department's evidence unit faced a judge in March of 2015 on charges he stole thousands of dollars worth of evidence from the department. McCarthy, who was suspended without pay in October of last year after the allegations first surfaced, was released on $5,000 personal recognizance. Read the story on WPRI.

A suspended Providence officer has been found competent to stand trial on charges of carrying an illegal gun and threatening three superior officers and his doctor. Read the story on The Providence Journal

Providence Police Body Cams

Providence Police have begun implementing a body cam program for police officers. Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré has described himself as a "big advocate" of body cameras for the police. He said a full video of an incident would give a viewer more context for what a given police officer was confronting on a call, rather than a shorter one from a specific moment during a longer event. "We shouldn't wait until an incident happens before we go there," he said of using body cameras.

Providence Policeman Fired
Officers Recently Fired

12-15: Two veteran parking enforcement officers in the city of Providence have been terminated amid allegations that they allowed employees at a downtown coffee shop to park their cars without feeding parking meters. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said Monday the two parking officers were putting orange parking ticket envelopes on the coffee shop employees' cars, but not actually assigning parking tickets to the vehicles over the course of several months. "It's about honesty and integrity," Pare said. "They were less than honest in performing their duties." Pare said the police department did investigate whether the two city employees received any form of compensation for not assigning parking tickets, but the probe did not turn up any evidence that the coffee shop or its employees were involved in the scheme. Read the full story on The fired officers are appealing.

A Providence police sergeant was fired this week (11-15) for making racist comments to an officer under his supervision. Sgt. David W. Marchant was let go by a 2-1 vote Tuesday following a Law Enforcement Bill of Rights hearing. The firing stems from an incident in December in which a suspicious package was reported at Brown University. Upon being faulted for not following department policy in handling the package, Marchant responded, "'Yeah, it's all set. I had the black guy do it.'" He was referring to Patrolman Khari Bass, who is black. There is more...Read the story and read the report. The officer is suing.

Tony The Dancing Cop Fired
Tony, The Dancing Cop, Gets Fired

(2015) While he will be missed by many, Tony Lepore Sr., the dancing cop, clearly miscalculated the reactions of The Providence Police regarding his recent protest. Read the story. Part of the issue was comments he made regarding a recent 2015 incident of a Dunkin Donuts employee writing "Black Lives Matter" on a coffee cup handed to a policeman. Tony commented:

"This is a serious matter, because of the recent killings of police officers, and agitators from the "Black Lives Matter" group. As far as I`m concerned, they are the catalysts. It`s not an organization of black against whites or police officers. To me it`s a radical organization with no rhyme or reason. All lives matter, and our good citizen`s line of defense is their local police. Without them, there would be nothing but chaos," continued Lepore. "So, from this day on, I and many of my followers on social media are making a stand. We are boycotting Dunkin' Donuts until this person or person`s responsible are fired for their actions."

A clearly defiant Tony Lepore Sr. was quoted as saying:

I had a meeting with the Police Commission and the Chief today at 11am. They degraded all the work I did for the street cops, and the work I did for the city for 30 yrs. They said it didn`t matter. Their concern wasn`t about the street cop they were concerned about the community leaders. They said their phones rang off the hooks the week of the boycott. It was of course the politicial community leaders. Our petition meant nothing. I told them both that they would get backlash from this, and they said they`re ready. Some people are political puppets. The don`t care about the men in the street. They care about the political agenda. This is the difference between men and mice. They had a nerve to ask me to turn in my uniforms which I have always paid for. I don`t want to have anything to do with the Providence Police Patch. I will design my own, and I hope the people of R. I. will stand behind so that I can continue serving the community as a performer. I will stand behind my actions, and I would do it again. It`s about the men in the street not the puppets.

See article in the Brown Daily Herald. The Providence Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 3 emailed a statement to shortly after the incident condemning the "unacceptable and discouraging" behavior of the Providence franchise employee stating:

"Our officers, like all other law enforcement agencies, work tirelessly to protect and serve all members of the communities," the statement reads. "The negativity displayed by the #BlackLivesMatter organization towards police across the nation is creating a hostile environment that is not resolving any problem or issues, but making it worse for our communities." The statement ends by stating that "ALL LIVES MATTER."

See image of complete press release at GoLocalProv. Additional hyperbole in the press release stated,

"We are also concerned by the actions of this employee who created a perceived safety issue to our officers. We bring this incident to the attention of other law enforcement officers across this city, state, and country, to remind them to stay vigilant in your efforts to protect and serve."

National FOP President Chuck Canterbury addressed the incident saying:

"Any profession that has suffered from negative media and an anti-rhetoric campaign would and should be concerned about tainted food service especially when someone would take the steps to sign a container by hand,"

Providence Police Officer William O'Donnell posted to Facebook on Saturday to express his concern about what had happened.

"We have to look at the possibility if "Black Lives Matter" is on the cup, is there anything else going into the cup? That is a possibility, given what's going on around the country," wrote O'Donnell. "If a guy goes in for a cup of coffee at a place we know, where we're patrons at, and they've always been great with us, do we have to worry?"


Many times the reason or purpose for events in our life initially escapes us,
but I am certain we can find reason and/or purpose in everything that happens!

It takes a short time to learn to exercise power, but a lifetime to learn how to avoid abusing it.

We are no longer a country of laws, we are a country where laws are "creatively interpreted."

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