BREAKING NEWS: Councilman Demands Esserman Resign—Again

Thursday, June 09, 2011

 

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The layoff of 78 police officers by the Taveras administration has led Councilman Michael Correia to call for the resignation of Providence Police Chief Colonel Dean Esserman.

Citing Esserman’s “standing commitment to resign if any officer lost their job,” Correia, who represents Ward 6, wrote, “On two separate occasions you have made this commitment to uniformed officers. The first time you made this commitment to the rank and file you said that you would leave your post prior to any officer. The second instance occurred at the District 6 substation where I witnessed you first-hand say that you would resign before any officer was laid off.”

Correia’s letter continued on to say, “Providence faces many challenges and we need to prioritize spending. I believe the positions of Commissioner of Public Safety and Deputy Police Chief provide adequate stewardship for the department. So once again, I request that you resign your post as chief so we may realize any and all savings before resorting to layoffs.”

Second Attempt to Remove Chief

This is the second time Correia has asked for the removal of Esserman.  Two weeks ago, the councilman sent a letter to Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare asking that the chief’s position be eliminated, along with two major positions and the entire mounted command.  He again cited savings to the city’s budget.

In response to Correia's most recent letter, Melissa Withers, communications director for the City of Providence said,  "Chief hasn't seen the letter yet but he has been informed. He did make the statements many months ago. Where we stand today, the Commissioner absolutely does not want the Chief to resign and feels strongly that elimination of the Chief's position would be very damaging to police operations."

Commissioner Pare said, "I have seen Councilman Correia's letter.  I appreciate and share his interest in averting police officer layoffs. We would welcome Councilman Correia's support for the offer we have put on the table that would achieve $6 million in savings without layoffs.  However, asking for the resignation of Colonel Dean Esserman and the elimination of the position of Chief of Police is not an acceptable or appropriate option. The position of Chief is vital to Police Department operations and I fully expect Colonel Esserman to continue to serve the community in this important capacity."

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