Editorial: Everyone has reached in East Providence Police chief saga


Editor's Note: Considering the recent developments in the investigation into misconduct in and around the East Providence Police Department, The Post is offering this editorial from early June of this year as means of reference...

There's little doubt about it, the decision by City Manager Peter Graczykowski to place East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares on administrative leave was a mistake and a reach, a stretch especially under the circumstances considering it occurred just two weeks after the state agreed to allow the Budget Commission to disband and was done under the haze of the manager's own seemingly tenuous employment situation.

Mr. Graczykowski's decision was a reach because of the aforementioned reasons and also because in numerous public statements, including multiple times here in The Post, State Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly noted her office would be keeping close tabs on the city both in the short and long terms.

The manager's decision, whatever the rationale behind it, was done too soon, and appeared to be too obvious a politically based one as well.

The rank-and-file of the police department, likewise, were obvious in their zeal to rid themselves of a chief who is not one of "their" own, who didn't cut his teeth wearing the charcoal and red uniform of the E.P. force. Their haste may have exacerbated the situation.

In the same vain, however, Chief Tavares' camp since his reinstatement has also erred on the side of recklessness. In a recent article on the matter published by The Pawtucket Times, Chief Tavares' attorney Thomas McAndrew made a troubling insinuation about racism playing a role in the situation.

Said Mr. McAndrew in the story dated May 25, "It is a shame that it has come to this, but let me just say, Chief Tavares has no intention of being run out of the city merely because he's the first minority chief hired and the first from outside of the East Providence Police Department."

East Providence certainly has its faults. We all know that too well. However, through most of our recent history, we've been a diversified, multicultural, multiracial community whose citizens have lived, worked and attempted to prosper together.

There's no doubt Mr. McAndrew should be a strong advocate for his client. It's his duty. It's his right. But don't wrong a whole city, never mind impugn a whole police department, with what, until proven publicly, is a baseless accusation.


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To the person who wrote this Editorial, it's not about race, or the color of your skin, it's about an honest, high ranking police officer, trying to do his job despite the fact that most of the rank and file never wanted him there to begin with.

It's about the corruption in this city that has been going on for years, while there are those officers in the department who are corrupt, there are those who wear their badge with honor and are not corrupt. Is it possible for you to distinguish the difference here?

Over the years McAndrews has represented more than a few employees in East Providence that were let go because of the corruption in this city, yet he wins his cases all the time in EP, he can retire a millionaire off of EP alone.

This city will never prosper until the corruption is out.

How about doing a editorial on the corrupt city manager?

Monday, June 10, 2013 | Report this

I'm getting very tired of you know it all's that don't really know anything. Tell us Jake, what you know about corruption in the police department. You have nothing to tell, you just believe everything you hear and read with no facts to back it up! I know many officers and they are all confused at the accusations against the department. As for corruption within the city, well why don't you run for office. My guess is that your cut from the same cloth and that it is just not benefiting you at this time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Report this

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.