From Chief Richard P. St.Sauveur
“My fellow Police Chiefs and I have signed a pledge that promises reforms in all Rhode Island law enforcement agencies, including the Smithfield Police Department.
Our promises, as outlined in the Twenty for 2020 Campaign, will address statewide policing standards and practices, and will focus on training, transparency, communication and human rights.
Although the Smithfield Police Department has a fantastic relationship with its residents, this campaign will help us to improve that relationship and increase the public’s trust in us.”
RI police chiefs to announce statewide policy changes
Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Announces the Twenty for 2020 Campaign
The 48 police chiefs that comprise the municipal, campus, state and environmental police departments of Rhode Island, collectively represented by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, is today announcing the signing of the Twenty for 2020 Campaign, an effort to ensure the public’s faith in its police departments by redoubling a statewide focus on training, transparency, communication and human rights.
“Every police chief in Rhode Island rightly denounces the actions of police officers whose actions and inaction have led to the murder of George Floyd and many other men and women,” said Chief Sidney Wordell (Ret.) Executive Director of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association. “The Twenty for 2020 campaign is a list of 20 promises and policy changes that are being enacted statewide. This is a unified effort. We recognize that we cannot create systemic change in our state by doing it piecemeal.”
The Twenty for 2020 Campaign is a list of promises and policy amendments set by the collective body of police chiefs. Among those promises are commitments to open book policies and procedures, better communication with the public and further training on diversity, implicit biases, and procedural justice.
“We understand that our words do not carry any meaning unless they are followed by actions. Our hope today is that the promises we are making to our communities will be just the start of a longer, sustained action toward greater police legitimacy in the eyes of the people we serve,” said Lincoln Police Chief Brian Sullivan, president of the Association. “At the same time, we defend and stand up for the profession of policing, and we support the good, hard-working women and men who choose to dedicate their lives to helping others.”
“Today, the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association has taken the initial steps toward reforming and implementing essential policies that are conducive to fair and impartial policing practices throughout the State of Rhode Island,” said John P. A’Vant, president of the Rhode Island Guardians Association. “These much-needed reformative action-steps will assist in facilitating community trust and strengthen the historically broken bond between law enforcement and marginalized communities. Furthermore, these important changes speak to and target several of the underlying obstacles that prevent fair and impartial policing throughout our nation. Overall, I feel that the recommendations will have a positive impact on the culture of policing and help to protect the rights of Black and brown people in our community.”
The campaign’s messaging will be widely distributed by all law enforcement agencies in Rhode Island, including releases to the news media, police websites and social media, in a public service announcement video, a program document and an infographic, to ensure that the message is broadcast through all possible channels to as many people as possible.