Lieutenant Colonel Michael Winquist, of the Rhode Island State Police, has been announced as Cranston’s new police chief. The appointment comes following a difficult period for the department.
Winquist steps into the position following the retirement of former chief Marco Palombo Jr. Palombo left in the midst of a scandal during which police officers ticketed cars in wards of city councilors who voted against a police contract. The search for his successor also drew controversy, with some groups claiming that the search criteria effectively ruled out candidates of color.
Winquist says he hopes to move the steer the department out its difficult period.
"It’s no secret that there’s been challenges within this department, but again the department’s changed, but again, the department’s changed. There’s been a culture of change within this department. And I’m going to take that opportunity to take that momentum and bring this department forward," said Winquist.
While neither salary nor benefits are finalized, Winquist will be the city’s first police chief to be on a 401K retirement program, instead of a pension plan. He must now go through an approval process with the City Council. If approved Winquist could move into the position as early as October.
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