Hugh Clements

Major Thomas Verdi, a 29-year veteran of the Providence police department, has been named deputy chief by Col. Hugh Clements, police chief.

Verdi takes the post vacated by former Deputy Chief Thomas Oates, who has become police chief in Woonsocket.

Verdi has recently served as commanding officer of the uniform division. He has also been executive officer of the administrative division and has many years  experience as a detective, an organized crime investigator, in the patrol bureau and in SWAT operations.

.v1ctor Casale./flickr/Creative Commons License

If you watch too much television news or listen to too many politicians, you may have the impression that crime is on the rise. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why perceptions have not caught up with the drop in crime.


Rhode Island is all atwitter about General Assembly grants. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says it is time for some measured study of the pros and cons of these legislative perks.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, have sparked a national focus on police-community relations. At issue is a number of cases in which unarmed black men have been killed during encounters with white police officers. Rhode Island hasn’t seen this much concern about police-community relations since a black police officer was killed in a friendly-fire incident almost 15 years ago. So how much things have changed?

A state medical examiner is expected to determine Wednesday whether a body found in Providence off of India Point is that of missing Brown student Sunil Tripathi.

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements tells RIPR that police suspect the body found Tuesday may be that of Tripathi.

Tripathi has been missing since he left his apartment in mid-March.

His family has made an energetic effort to find him through social media and other approaches.