Rep. Almeida Calls on Elorza to Appoint Black Police Major

Nov 2, 2015

Providence Rep. Joe Almeida spoke at a bill signing earlier this year for a measure aimed at improving police-community relations.
Credit Katherine Doherty

Rep. Joseph Almeida is requesting that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza appoint a black police officer as a major in the Providence police department. Almeida, a retired city cop and Democrat who represents a South Side neighborhood, said in a news release that Elorza needs to appoint a black officer to a leading role in the department so that the city’s police force better reflects the demographics of 21st century Providence.

"This shouldn’t be an issue in 2015,’’ said Almedia. "I have been trying since 1979 to get a person of color up in the ranks and it’s about time the city recognizes the message it would send to finally have a black officer in a white shirt.’’

A recent study by the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers commissioner by the NAACP found that the highest ranking black officer is a sergeant. There has not been a black  major since Cornel Young retired many years ago.

Said Elorza, "I am committed to finding new and innovative ways to support officers of color as they advance through the ranks. As we increase diversity and build new pathways to take on leadership positions, I look forward to a diverse range of officers being promoted and assuming the highest leadership roles in the department.''