RISP releases report on how to diversify force

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. State Police released a report on Tuesday that highlighted the need to increase diversity in the force and made recommendations on organizational changes to serve that end.

The report, ordered by Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, the agency’s superintendent, comes from an assessment conducted by Terrance W. Gainer LLC following the recent 2016 graduating recruit class’s lack of diversity. A large majority of the class recruits were white men.

In its report, the RISP notes that, “The agency was particularly disappointed with such an outcome given that established recruitment efforts sought to avoid such a result.”

The report also noted that, “The leadership of the RISP is well aware that the RISP must reflect the community it serves in order to gain the trust and confidence of the citizens.”

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The report contained 27 recommendations in three task areas, recruiting and diversity, promotion processes, and procedures and administrative actions pertaining to citizen complaints, internal investigations and disciplinary processes.

The recommendations included pushing for a full-time recruiting department, a revision in recruitment requirements and recruitment outlines, alterations of tests to eliminate inherent biases, mentorship programs, and data analysis of applicant pool data.

The suggestions also included alterations to the disciplinary process, including a quarterly use of force panel, a standardization of the internal investigative process, specific budgeting for professional development training for all ranks and agency positions and to clarify harassment, violence and discrimination definitions, including social media activity.

The report comes after internal interviews, an electronic and anonymous survey, focus groups, recruit interviews and a review of internal investigative files.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.