East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares took great pains last week to stress the amount of coordination and cooperation between his department and several other local, state and law enforcement entities who combined to subdue the so-called “Bearded Bandit” bank robber.
In a moment of candor, however, the Chief made special mention of his own detectives, those of whom have been on the case for the last several months and played a crucial role in the eventual capture of the “Bandit” Wednesday, Sept. 19.
The Chief was right to single out Detective Sergeant Diogo Mello. He along with the other EPPD detectives under the guidance of Captain Richard Frazier displayed the kind of savvy and street smarts all fit and proper police officers need to make this type of capture.
Without a doubt, the members of the East Providence Police Department did the city proud while working this case as well as another, separate caper conducted at the Columbus Credit Union in Riverside on the same day as the “Bandit’s” last heist, Sept. 18.
It was an extremely chaotic Tuesday for the EPPD detectives, but they not only cracked the Columbus caper, in the process they also extracted a confession from a CCU employee who had embezzled several hundreds of thousands of dollars from the institution.
While the crime rate in the city doesn’t seem to have jumped at any significant rate, the proportion of the incidents — from bank robberies, to recent attempted and committed murders and a case of gun violence — have certainly raised attention to the stark reality of life in East Providence in 2012.
The EPPD, like any department in the city, has its problems. But in these instances, especially, the cops got the job done well and fast. They deserve our praise and appreciation. We have been and remain a relatively safe and sound community in which to live due in large part because of them.