Community celebrates Chief Esserman

PROVIDENCE, RI – Former Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman will be the subject Thursday evening of a community celebration in his honor.

Esserman was a controversial figure during eight years of leading the police department before resigning in June. Critics say he was too temperamental and insulting to some officers. Supporters like non-violence activist Teny Gross say Esserman made the police department better.

"He pushed the envelope on a lot of fronts," Gross says, "and made policing in Providence something that people nationally noticed and tried to emulate."

Gross says the event to thank Esserman for his work is being sponsored by the police department's civilian advisory board. Esserman didn't return a call seeking comment.

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