Col. Hugh Clements reflects on long-time career in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) –Providence’s longtime police chief, Col. Hugh Clements, was tapped by the Department of Justice to head their COPS Program in Washington, D.C.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to make an impact in policing in cities, towns, suburban areas, tribal policing around the country,” the colonel said.

In his final interview with ABC 6 News, he noted one thing he’s most proud of, is how his officers have addressed the city’s problems.

Clements graduated from the police academy in 1985, and started out on the night shift walking patrol.

“So, I made chief in year 26,” he explained.

“About 13 years of my career had been spent on the patrol side and about 13 on the investigative side, both then detectives, narcotics and then back in detectives in each step of the way. When I made rank, I was bouncing back and forth.”

Over the last decade, law enforcement nationwide saw record numbers of violence and criticism towards the profession.

But in 2022, violent crime dramatically dropped in Providence by 31%. Additionally, the city has had it’s lowest number of homicides in 50 years.

The colonel credited this to his officers, and their connection to the people of the city.

“I give all the credit in the world to the men and women of this department for taking guns off the street, dangerous calls,” he said.

“And I’m proud of the men and women of this department and their restraint in taking those guns off the street. And the detectives in investigating these cases,” Clements added.

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island