Contact: Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent Telephone: (401) 444-1120
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, announces that the Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) has expanded to patrol in the City of Central Falls.
The Honorable Lincoln D. Chafee, Governor of the State of Rhode Island; Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Major James Mendonca, Acting Chief of the Central Falls Police Department; Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley; Representative Agostinho F. Silva; Representative James N. McLaughlin; and Mr. Joshua Laplante, Principal of Central Falls High School; held a press conference to announce the initiative on: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Central Falls City Hall, 580 Broad Street, Central Falls, Rhode Island.
The Neighborhood Response Team has been deployed in the City of Providence during the summer and on peak holiday weekends since 2005. The model has been so successful at reducing crime and building trust and confidence between residents and City and State Police, that with the support of Governor Chafee, Colonel O'Donnell, and Major Mendonca, the State Police has expanded the NRT into the City of Central Falls.
In May 2010, the City of Central Falls was placed into receivership. Since then, the Police Department's personnel has decreased by 25 percent. The NRT detail provides the City of Central Falls with at least three additional State Troopers to patrol the city. One State Trooper and one Central Falls Officer patrol together in a State Police cruiser. A minimum of three teams of two are being deployed. Each marked State Police car has a State Trooper and a Central Falls Police Officer patrolling together.
In the first two weekends of the NRT, the teams conducted 77 motor vehicle stops for motor vehicle infractions and criminal violations and made eleven arrests. It should be noted that within the first half hour of the initial patrols, the teams seized a firearm and a large amount of narcotics from a suspect. They also made several significant arrests for crimes such as possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, possession of Schedule I-V drugs, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, and two juvenile arrests following an armed robbery in Pawtucket. A short time later, the juveniles were turned over to Pawtucket Police.
Stemming from a domestic issue and following a call to the Lincoln Woods Barracks regarding three children being taken without the consent of their mother, a 24-year-old man was arrested on seven charges. These charges included domestic assault, driving without a license, an affidavit and arrest warrant for failure to appear/domestic assault, a Capias for failure to appear/domestic assault, and a warrant for failure to appear/driving without the consent of the owner. Charges are pending on this subject for child snatching and kidnapping.
This innovative, collaborative effort between the Rhode Island State Police and the Central Falls Police underscores the strong, working relationship and the commitment of Governor Chafee, Colonel O'Donnell, and Major Mendonca to effective and professional policing in a team concept. The NRT, in conjunction with the State Police Community Outreach Program, helps to preserve peace and order, provides a safer community, and helps to build trust and confidence between the community and law enforcement.
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee stated, "Recent years have been difficult for the people of Central Falls, and among the challenges the community has faced is a reduction in public safety personnel. But throughout the receivership process, the state has maintained a strong and supportive relationship with the city, and our expansion of the Neighborhood Response Team into Central Falls is another example of that. Colonel O'Donnell and I are proud that the State Police are able to act as a partner to the Central Falls Police and help keep the city and its residents safe and secure."
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell stated, "I strongly support the mission of the Rhode Island State Police to provide State Police resources to assist other cities and towns, especially during these challenging economic times. The NRT has proven to be a successful model that has been embraced by elected officials, law enforcement, and the community."