Clements named as Justice Department’s new COPS Office director

This is a file photo of Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements will be heading to the United States Department of Justice, after deciding to leave Providence Public Safety.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday Clements will serve as the new director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services — COPS Office.

The COPS office, said Garland, aims to strengthen the public trust between communities and law enforcement that is essential to public safety.

“I am confident that Chief Clements’ leadership will further enable the COPS Office to continue its important work to keep our communities safe and build trust and mutual respect between police and communities,” added the attorney general.

Last month, Providence Mayor Brett Smiley said he asked Clements to stay on but the police chief made the “difficult decision to leave city service to pursue an exciting opportunity before him.”

Clements will keep supporting the Providence Police Department with the transition and advise the mayor on the appointment of the police chief.

The chief has been with Providence for almost 40 years.

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