Providence mayor names top candidates for police chief

  • In US
  • 2023-02-07 14:53:31Z
  • By The Providence Journal

Three veteran police leaders, all long-serving members of the Providence Police Department, have emerged as finalists in the running to become the city's 38th police chief.

They are Maj. Kevin M. Lanni, Detective Maj. David A. Lapatin and Commander Oscar L. Perez, Mayor Brett P. Smiley said Tuesday morning.

On Wednesday, the three candidates will appear at a public forum where they will take questions.

Those questions will be based on community feedback gathered by a bilingual survey, according to a news release, which says that Nonviolence Institute Executive Director Cedric Huntley and Progreso Latino Executive Director Mario Bueno will facilitate the event.

It also says that Smiley will select the next chief in the days following the forum, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

"I want to encourage Providence residents and community members to meet these candidates at our public forum Wednesday night."

Smiley said he believes Lanni, Lapatin and Perez are exceptional candidates and each exemplifies what the community wants in its next police chief.

As he puts it, that's "a dedicated public servant that will work with the community to increase our overall public safety."

The basis for questions at the forum is a bilingual survey that gathered input on the particular qualities that community members would like to see in the next police chief.

The findings of the survey will be shared at the outset of the forum, which is at the tech center on Fricker Street, says the release.

Lanni, a member of the Providence Police Department for 25 years, started his career as a patrol officer and later commanded the department's community operations bureau.

During much of his time on the force, he supervised efforts focused on narcotics, firearms, and organized crime says the release. He spearheaded two training academies, which involved reforms in recruitment and strategies for retention. The reforms incorporated "bias awareness, cross-cultural policing and strategies for serving vulnerable residents," says the release.

Lapatin, a department member for 39 years, also rose up through the ranks after starting as a patrol Officer.Lapatin is the longtime commanding officer department's investigative division, overseeing a collection of bureaus. He manages detectives, which includes major crime investigations, license enforcement, intelligence, youth services, and narcotics investigations.

Lapatin has developed strong partnerships with local organizations and with community groups to solve ongoing crimes, says the release.

Perez, a department member for 29 years, came to the city as an immigrant when he was 13 years old, says the release.

After starting out as a patrol officer, he moved on to projects such as developing the department's Community Relations Bureau and a department-wide community policing bureau policy, the release says. He spearheaded several police community relations initiatives.

Perez was recently promoted to Commander, also holding the rank of deputy chief, and he has served as acting chief since the departure of Hugh T. Clements Jr.

He oversees daily operations and administration of all police services and functions of PPD.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Mayor Smiley selects 3 finalist for Providence police chief job


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