EAST PROVIDENCE — In response to the report issued by the Rhode Island State Police on the matter earlier in the day, the East Providence Police Officers Union, International Brotherhood of Police Local 569, released its own statement on the afternoon of July 11 in regards to the status of Chief Joseph Tavares.
The Local 569 letter was signed by EPPD Detective Corporal Kevin Feeney, the union president.
The letter reads as follows:
“During the first part of June 2013 the members of the East Providence Police department, represented by IBPO Local 569, took a ‘No Confidence’ vote regarding Chief of Police, Joseph Tavares. The result was that there was not a single vote of confidence cast for Chief Tavares.
“The members of the East Providence Police department have remained quiet throughout the Chief’s controversy because collectively we decided not to make our concerns public. We supported the investigation and actions taken by the City Manager and by the Human Resources Director and were opposed to the actions taken by the Budget Commission regarding the reinstatement of Chief Tavares.
“We release this statement to express that the concerns addressed by the City Manager, regarding Chief Tavares, were legitimate. We have stood by silently while this issue has played out publicly and tarnished the reputation of the East Providence Police Department. Accusations of corruption and unethical behavior were made against members of the department and those accusations were grossly false, irresponsible, and self serving. Based on these accusations, the Budget Commission had a State Police Lieutenant assigned to investigate the claims made. The members of the East Providence Police Department cooperated fully with the investigation as we did four years earlier during an assessment by the State Police. The end result was the same as four years earlier where the members of the East Providence Police Department were found to have done nothing wrong, or unethical, and that the members of the department are very capable professionals and were not the focus of this investigation.
“The members of IBPO Local 569 now publicly acknowledge that we have ‘No Confidence’ in Chief Tavares and feel he is incapable of leading this department. Additionally, due to Chief Tavares’ actions and allegations of corruption within the department, as indicated by the State Police, coupled with the complaints sustained by the City originally, irreparable harm has been done to the reputation of the East Providence Police Department. We therefore agree that Chief Tavares is incapable of leading the members of the East Providence Police Department.”