Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin recently honored several individuals and organizations at the 8th annual Justice Awards. Among those honored were Warwick Police Officer Stephen Lombardi and Warwick residents James Galvin and Donald Englert, both employees of the RI Division of Taxation. The Justice Awards are given to individuals and community organizations in recognition of an extraordinary commitment to justice and the community, and are presented in honor of the eight previous Attorneys General.
Warwick Police Officer Stephen Lombardi serves as a Community Policing Officer and a Senior Citizens Police Advocate, where he works closely with the Office of Attorney Genera Elder Abuse Unit on various elder abuse investigations. Officer Lombardi's knowledge, experience and dedication to the elder community is recognized statewide.
Due in great part to his efforts, in 2011 elder abuse training was added to the curriculum at the Rhode Island Municipal and State Police Academies, where Officer Lombardi serves as one of the principal trainers and curriculum developers.
For his service to the law and for serving and protecting one of our most vulnerable populations, Officer Lombardi was presented with the Attorney General James O'Neil Justice Award for Senior Protection.
"It is an honor to recognize those, like Officer Lombardi, who are committed to protecting our community and our most treasured and most vulnerable population," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Elder abuse can be difficult to recognize and the victim often unwilling or unable to report it. Officer Lombardi has dedicated his career to protecting our elderly and is teaching a new generation of police officers how to recognize and investigate potential signs of elder abuse that may be present during routine patrol calls, but have often gone unrecognized in the past." In 2010, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation unearthed a major contraband cigarette smuggling ring in Providence. A nearly year-long investigation by the Rhode Island State Police, Homeland Security, ATF and the Division of Taxation culminated in the arrests of three individuals and the seizure of 121,000 packs of contraband cigarettes in the sweep with either no tax stamp or counterfeit tax stamps. It is believed to be the largest such operation and investigation in the Division's history.
For their individual and collective efforts in the investigation, Warwick residents James Galvin and Donald Englert each received the former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse Justice Award for Consumer Protection.
"Most people associate the Division of Taxation as the evil agency looking to take your money. In fact, it is their good investigative work that led to the demise of a major criminal enterprise that was illegally siphoning taxpayer dollars," said Attorney General Kilmartin.