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New Providence Police Chief Promises Big Changes (posted January 23, 2003)

New Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman is promising big changes in his police force. Appearing last Sunday on the WJAR-TV interview show "10 News Conference," Esserman said, "in all likelihood, I will make changes." Although he said he hoped to find "all or most" of the new leaders from "within the police department," he said the department was going to investigate itself in its recent testing scandal. "I am going to tell the truth," he pledged.

He also expressed optimism that the police force could regain the trust of the community. The police force "is not an occupying force," he pointed out. When asked if the new openness in the department meant reporters could interview individual police officers (a practice prohibited by past mayor Buddy Cianci), Esserman said he was "cool" (meaning positive) about the idea.

Providence Mayor David Cicilline, appearing with the chief, said he was exploring various models of running the police and fire departments. Rather than having a Public Safety Commissioner with oversight over both departments, he indicated he was considering a public safety board chaired by the mayor to oversee the police and fire.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services