Providence police chief to stay on

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he supports the retention of Police Chief Col. Dean Esserman. The recommendation to keep Esserman is part of an evaluation of the police department's management team that emphasizes a high standard for conduct.

The evaluation says the chief must remain cognizant of his conduct and behavior when addressing his colleges and requires the entire police department to act with the highest level of professionalism. And at a press conference in City Hall Tuesday, Providence Police Commissioner Steven Pare emphasized that the chief and his team set the tone of the department.

Esserman was suspended for one day without pay last February after a verbal altercation with a subordinate. Esserman thanked the commissioner and mayor for their work.

"I'm proud to be part of this team. I'm proud for the mayor's trust, I'm proud for the commissioner's trust, and I'm proud to be in the company of Providence's finest," says Esserman.

The police union issued a vote of no confidence in Esserman back in 2009. Pare says he wants to improve his relationships with the police union and department.

"By listening to the men and women of the Providence Police through the FOP. We have to listen and consider their voice, they have a lot of great ideas, and if we listen we can learn, and that is going to happen," says Pare.

The report also calls for the elimination of two positions by leaving an inspector's position unfilled and by trimming the number of majors from four to three.

Pare also recommends removing lieutenants and captions from the police union. The report says having them in the same union as rank and file presents a conflict.

The use of police vehicles would also be limited to the management team. Pare couldn't put a dollar amount to it, but says this will save the city money. "We just can't afford to provide that kind of benefit in today's financial crises," says Pare.

Pare says he will hold the police chief accountable to the recommendations in his ten-page report, which also includes improving diversity in the police department and doing a better job controlling overtime pay.

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