‘We were critically short’: Providence Police hold recruitment drive

"We were critically short, and it played to some of the work we were kind of unable to do in our community," Colonel Hugh Clements told ABC6 Wednesday.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- As the rate of violent crime and homicides soar nationwide, the amount of police officers leaving the force is also going up.

The Providence Police Department is one of many departments across the country that’s dealt with staffing shortages over the last year.

“We were critically short, and it played to some of the work we were kind of unable to do in our community,” Colonel Hugh Clements told ABC6 Wednesday.

The Department held a recruitment drive on Wednesday for the 71st Police Department Training Academy.

This past weekend, 49 new officers graduated from the 70th academy and hit the streets this week. Now, the department and city officials are calling on men and women in the community to apply for the next class.

“There are very few careers where you truly have an opportunity to make an impact. This is one of them,” said Clements.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare told ABC6 the police department was down to almost 400 officers this year.

Between retirements and this new recruit class, he anticipates the department having up to 480-490 officers by next year. Pare said this will give officers more opportunities to walk the streets and interact with the community.

“I remember as a young boy I wanted to be a police officer. And I wouldn’t tell my friends because of the stigma,” Commissioner Pare explained.

“Despite what we’ve gone through, this is a noble profession and it takes a certain kind of person to do this job.”

Applicants can submit apply for the academy online starting today, up until February 4th, 2022.

Anyone interested in learning more should click here.

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island