Lt. Col. Winquist unanimously approved by Finance Committee

By: Samantha Lavien
Twitter: @samanthalavien

Lt. Col. Michael Winquist received unanimous support in the first of two confirmation votes needed to become the city of Cranston’s next police chief.

“I’m very happy that the council is confident that I can do a good job,” said Winquist.

The Cranston City Council Finance Committee questioned Winquist for about an hour. He was asked several questions including how he plans to lead the department which has been in turmoil for months following a ticket writing scandal.

“I see myself as a guy that has a fresh perspective on how things are going to go moving forward, so it’s not about turnaround but I think I have the skills and the ability to lead this department to the future,” said Winquist.

Earlier this year former Chief Marco Palumbo retired amid the investigation. The department has been under State Police leadership since January.

City Council President, John Lanni, says Winquist is ready to lead the department.

“I’ve never seen a better resume for this position as long as I’ve been on the council. He’s the first outsider, I think he brings a new perspective and a new look to the city,” said Lanni.

Winquist is the number two in command of the Rhode Island State Police.When asked why he wants to leave his current role to join the Cranston department, this is what he had to say…

“I think the goal of any law enforcement officer is to move up the ranks and becoming the number two in the Rhode Island state police was an honor to me, but I’m ready to lead a department of my own and this department is a good department,” said Winquist.

The full city council will vote on Monday. Winquist is expected to be approved.

(C) WLNE/TV 2014