“We’re not going to allow it”: City council pushes to reclassify Elorza’s appointment of civilian to police major

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- While a plan to develop a Community Relations and Diversion Services Major has been in the works since January, not many expected the top candidate to have no police experience.

The Providence City Council took the first step to reclassify Mayor Elorza’s appointment of Michael Evans, the City’s Director of Recreation, to a police major.

The role was included in the City’s budget and was created in hopes to improve the community’s relationship with the police. It would also utilize the position to respond to certain calls instead of officers.

City Council President John Igliozzi put it simply while speaking with ABC6, saying, “It’s just not going to happen.
Igliozzi said while the role was something the council approved in their budget, they expected the position to be filled by someone with law enforcement experience.
“When the mayor chose to go awry and go on a different track and appoint a civilian to become a police officer without any education any training certification. Clearly, we had to put the brakes on that.”
Providence’s majors are some of the highest-ranking officers within the department. The City only has four.
The Providence Police Union called the appointment a “slap in the face.”
At Thursday’s council meeting, members sent the Finance Committee amendments to the budget which will push to create one police major position and a separate civilian-public safety liaison.

Igliozzi said he’s happy the City agreed to compromise.

“We’re going to change the title, reclassify the position to civilian, and narrowly tailor it so it’ll be a civilian type of position.”

A city council hearing is set for next week, where Chief Hugh Clements is expected to submit a new job description for the position.

Providence Police Commissioner Steven Pare told ABC6 the department is having continued discussions with the council on the position.

ABC6 reached out to Mayor Elorza’s Office for comment but have not yet heard back.

Categories: News, Politics, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island