Block Island expected to be without state police detail this summer

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WLNE) — The New Shoreham Town Council shot down an agreement to have assigned state police patrols on Block Island this summer.

The council voted against funding assigned state police detail on a 4-1 margin. The lone vote in support was First Warden Andre Boudreau.

Several members of the council criticized Gov. Dan McKee for not providing the funding, citing the state’s more than $800 million projected surplus.

“I think it is fundamentally wrong that the state will not provide this town, this part of Rhode Island, the alliance that we have had for decades to continue,” said Councilor Mark Emmanuelle.

Boudreau said not having state police on the Island is a safety concern and doesn’t support the town’s police chief, who he commended and said asked for the state police assistance.

The first warden noted the past incidents in 2020, which saw two deadly crashes and an uptick in rowdy behavior.

“It’s ridiculous, I’m astound, just astounded,” remarked Boudreau. “Without state police support 2020 is right around,” concluded Boudreau.

The agreement would have seen the town pay state police $45,000 for two troopers to routinely patrol the island Friday through Monday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

State police in the past provided the service at no cost, but former Superintendent Col. James Manni said at a state budget hearing earlier this year that the state police is facing a staffing shortage, making it difficult to provide the coverage no costs.

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