EAST PROVIDENCE — Acting City Manager Paul Lemont made it official Friday morning, Aug. 1, taking away the interim tag from Christopher Parella and naming him as the permanent chief of the East Providence Police Department.
Mr. Lemont and Chief Parella issued a joint press release Friday announcing the move, which comes exactly a month to the day the latter was installed as interim chief upon the resignation of his predecessor Joseph Tavares on July 1.
“I take great pride in this appointment as I selected him to be a patrolman in 1990,” Mr. Lemont noted of his hiring of Chief Parella to the force originally during his first tenure as city manager.
Mr. Lemont added that Parella along with his peers were advised upon joining the force that “someday, one of you can be chief.”
That day is Sunday when Mr. Parella, a city resident and in his 25th year in the department, officially becomes permanent chief on August 3.
The acting manager said he used the 30-day interim period as a time of review and a “test” for the prospective candidate. Mr. Lemont said he was impressed with what he saw of Chief Parella, which cemented his decision to promote him permanently.
“The 30 days were to see what he could do and I feel the department overall is calmer and much more disciplined,” Mr. Lemont explained. “I saw in him an integrity, a consciousness to do the right thing and the ability to do the job well.”
It was the preference of the acting manager in this instance to promote from within, again Chief Parella showing he was capable during the interim window.
“If everything is equal, I’ve always prefer to hire someone from inside the department,” Mr. Lemont added. “Knowing Chris for all these years, I know he’s a good character guy and he’ll do the job the right way. He met all the qualifications I was looking for in the chief.”
Chief Parella is a graduate of Roger Williams University and Bridgewater State. He is married to Nancy J. Parella and has two daughters, Kaitlin Elizabeth and Victoria Paige who are respectively a second-year law student at Illinois Kent and a student at Clemson University.
“I am honored that the city manager has the confidence in me to lead this department at this crucial time and I pledge to restore this department to its once vaunted position.” Chief Parella said.
He continued, “We have a department of outstanding men and women who serve the public in a distinguished manner.”
In his 24 year career, Chief Parella has served in most divisions of the EPPD and has numerous awards and Commendations for his service. He was most recently second in command and had achieved the rank of major in early 2013.
“I expect to live here and contribute to the betterment of our City for many years to come” the new chief added, saying he “is proud to be a Townie.”