EAST PROVIDENCE — At its meeting Thursday afternoon, Jan. 31, the Budget Commission approved a recommendation from member and City Manager Peter Graczykowski to promote Christopher Parella to the position of Deputy Chief of the East Providence Police Department with the rank of major.
Major Parella was most recently a captain and supervisor of the department’s Patrol Division. He is a 23-year veteran, who began his career in the EPPD as an officer. He later attained the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant.
“I’m excited,” Major Parella said of his promotion. “I’m excited and committed to the job. I’m excited not only for the prospects of the East Providence Police Department, but also for the future of the city. It looks like we’ve leveled off here. I think things going forward are going to get better. I think we’re ready to regain our momentum.”
Major Parella was a captain for three years prior to being chosen by Mr. Graczykowski to replace the recently-retired Charles Swenson as the second in command to EPPD Chief Joseph Tavares. Besides Patrol, Major Parella has also held supervisory positions for the department’s Community Policing and Traffic Divisions.
A Bristol native, Major Parella holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from hometown Roger Williams University as well as Bachelor’s Science and Physical Education with a minor in Psychology from Bridgewater (Mass.) State University.
Major Parella is married to the former Nancy Smith, a city native who is a teacher at St. Mary Academy-Bay View. The Parellas are parents to two daughters: Kaitlin, a 2012 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago and a currently a first-year law student at Chicago-Kent College, and Victoria, a sophomore at Clemson University in South Carolina.
A city resident for some 25 years, Major Parella is a communicant at St. Martha Church and has been active in youth sports among other community organizations. He is a past vice president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.
Besides his inherent enthusiasm, Major Parella said he brings “innovative” thinking, thinking “outside the box” to his new position. “I’m an independent thinker. I like to look at new, different ways of doing things.”
In these still difficult financial times, Major Parella said he is committed to making the EPPD a more efficient organization while continuing its tradition of dedicated service to the community.
“I’m excited. I’m optimistic. I’m 100 percent committed to the position,” Major Parella added.
In addition to the promotion of Major Parella, Mr. Graczykowski recommended and the Budget Commission approved the promotions of Lt. John Sequeira to acting captain; Sgt. Mark Cadoret to lieutenant and Det. Cpl. Samuel Luke to sergeant. The appointment of Lt. Sequeira, Mr. Graczykowski noted, was pending the formation of a new promotion list.