Smiley begins search for new Providence police chief

PROVIDENCE – Mayor Brett Smiley announced Friday that the search process has begun to find the 38th chief of the Providence Police Department. 

The city’s top officer, Col. Hugh T. Clements, who has held the position since 2011, and Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré both announced on Dec. 27 that they are stepping down in 2023. 

“Colonel Clements has built an incredible command staff and has led the department with distinction,” Smiley said in a statement. “We are looking for the right individual to lead our police force to ensure everyone that lives, works and visits our city feels safe. Our next chief of police will build on Providence’s community policing strategy, which is why I am proud we developed a process that engages Providence residents and businesses in selecting the next chief.” 

The mayor said the chief of police will play a critical role in the Smiley administration as it focuses on increasing public safety, building strong community relations across the city and addressing quality-of-life crimes. 

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The job description is available on the city’s website and applications being accepted on a rolling basis. A bilingual survey will also be distributed digitally and by phone to learn what qualities residents would like to see in the next police chief.  

Finalists for the job will attend a public forum on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. hosted by Nonviolence Institute Executive Director Cedric Huntley and community leader Dr. Pablo Rodriguez.  

Smiley will make the final decision on who is hired. 

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