McKee says state will pay for troopers to patrol Block Island this summer

Block Island Photo
Block Island. (WLNE)

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WLNE) — Gov. Dan McKee said Thursday that the state will pay for two Rhode Island State Police troopers to patrol Block Island this summer.

“We are grateful for Gov. McKee for identifying funding for two RISP troopers to be assigned to Block Island for summer weekends,” Boudreau told ABC 6 News.

“The troopers will assist the New Shoreham Police Department during the busy summer months to help provide a safe environment for our residents and visitors.”

The patrols will be for 15 weeks starting Memorial Day Weekend and will be Friday through Monday.

This announcement comes after the New Shoreham Town Council shot down an agreement last week for the town to pay for assigned patrols on the island.

First Warden Andre Boudreau said on May 18 that not having state police on the island is a safety concern. In 2020, Block Island saw two deadly crashes and an uptick in unruly behavior.

“We are grateful for Gov. McKee for identifying funding for two RISP troopers to be assigned to Block Island for summer weekends,” Boudreau told ABC 6 News.

“The troopers will assist the New Shoreham Police Department during the busy summer months to help provide a safe environment for our residents and visitors.”

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

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

Earlier this week, Block Island’s chief of police, Matthew Moynihan, said he was leaving his post. This announcement came less than a week after the town council voted against funding state troopers.

McKee added Thursday state police will provide the island with an interim chief.

Categories: News, Rhode Island