Providence City Council members call for Mayor Elorza to address violent crime
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)– Addressing a recent uptick in violent crime, Providence City Council members issued a statement on Wednesday calling for Mayor Jorge Elorza to develop a city-wide safety plan.
“After several weeks of violent crimes including shootings, a kidnapping, and murders, it is clear that the city needs to support a proactive approach to policing,” said City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan.
The statement claims that the city’s police force has been depleted in recent years, leading to a focus on responding to calls of crimes in progress, as opposed to developing relationships within communities; the type of “proactive investigatory work that stems crime”, according to the statement.
The council members called for an immediate start to the city’s police academy, along with a “dedicated funding stream for social services in each police district… and a re-emphasis on community policing as a proactive strategy to mitigate violence and crime.”
Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements welcomed the councils input in the statement.
“We appreciate the action from the City Council to allow us to continue to move forward with the 70th Providence Police Academy,” Clements said. “The Training Division is in the midst of the recruiting and selection process and we are eager to move forward.”
The statement also calls for the funding of social services within each police district, along with more training for officers that focuses “on equity, diversity, and cultural understanding of the city’s diverse population.”
“If we are going to lower the crime rate, we need to support the police by providing social services needed in the city,” City Council President Sabina Matos said.
The council members said they planned to offer more information, and introduce legislation, at a Providence City Council Meeting on November 5.