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.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said the city’s police chief did not enhance his retirement benefits by briefly being reinstated before retiring earlier this week. Former chief Marco Palombo will get an annual pension of just under $80,000.
Col. Marco Palombo, Jr. released a statement announcing that he is retiring as Cranston’s chief of police. The news comes on the heels of a police parking ticket scandal.
Col. Palombo announced his retirement after 27 years with the Cranston police in a statement to the media. In it, he said he had been considering retirement for a while and is looking forward to new opportunities, including helping to solve cold cases and teaching police science.