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Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements: 13 To Watch in RI in 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

 

When Hugh Clements was officially named Chief of Police in early 2012, members of the Providence Police Department breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Clements replaced Chief Dean Esserman, who, while earning praise for helping reduce crime to its lowest point in 30 years, had a disastrous relationship with rank-and-file members that included berating officers in public and resulted in a no confidence vote from the union.

Clements, by all accounts, was (and still is) a cop’s cop. He joined the department in 1985, rising from the rank of patrolman and spending about half his career in the patrol bureau and the other half in the investigative division. The majority of his years in the detective bureau were spent investigating major crimes and he also served in the investigative division’s narcotics unit.

As the major in charge of the uniform division – a position he held from 2009 until he was named deputy chief in April 2011 – Clements oversaw the largest division in the apartment, supervising nine district commanders and working closely with the Providence City Council and partners in the community to support and expand the department’s community policing strategy.

When he was finally appointed to the top job, he was praised by the union and political leaders. And in his first year on the job, he’s worked to reduce crime in most categories (with the notable exception of murders) despite having to deal with a department and a city short on cash.

2013 has the chance to be a banner year for Clements. He’ll bring in 18 new officers thanks to federal funds that had previously gone untouched and with so much attention being paid to firearms, don’t be surprised if the city becomes a national leader for its efforts to curb shootings.

For a guy with arguably the most difficult job in the city, Clements is proving to be a star.
 

 

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