Editorial: Parella served East Providence admirably as police chief

Posted 3/31/19

The Post and the East Providence Police Department, for the last several years at least, have enjoyed a cordial, productive relationship, understanding each had professional obligations it needed to …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Editorial: Parella served East Providence admirably as police chief

Posted

The Post and the East Providence Police Department, for the last several years at least, have enjoyed a cordial, productive relationship, understanding each had professional obligations it needed to uphold. And that collaborative effort remained so under the auspices of Chief Christopher Parella, whose retirement from the position was officially announced earlier this week.

In an interview with the paper upon his departure, the chief, never short with a quote, discussed many topics, too numerous in fact to include in the story on the topic.

A few were too good not to print, like the following on Chief Parella’s feelings about the community he served for nearly three decades: “I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. This is what it’s all about to me. I’ve never been one to discuss my failures or accolades. I’d like to hope that people think when I leave here, if they look back at my time here as police chief, that I was fair, that I was approachable, that I was judicious and most of all that I had a heart. I did this job as much with my heart as I did with my head. And I think that’s a delicate balance, but I’d like to think that everybody felt like they could come to the East Providence Police when they had a problem.”

Another was about the shelf life any leader in law enforcement has, “They say police chiefs nationally last three to five years, probably around here five to seven is the average. I’d like to say that I have a lot of passion left in me. I still love the job. But I think you want to go out on top. And in my case I have a great relationship with the mayor. I have an outstanding relationship with the council. I have a very respectful, close relationship with the union. I don’t ever remember that. And I can’t ever remember that happening. I’ve seen chiefs, you get embroiled in things and it’s very difficult. I feel as much as I have the passion and energy to stay, I figure this is the perfect time to go. This the highest note you’re ever going to get in this business. So I feel this is the perfect time to go.”

The chief also noted the coincidence of how his parents, Frank J. Parella Jr. and Mary, the latter originally from Riverside, met and settled in Bristol, while he grew up there and eventually married an East Providence girl, Nancy, and took up residence here. The city, it turns out, is and will continue to be his home.

“I’m staying. I’m not going anyway,” Chief Parella said. “It’s a great place to live.”

It certainly is, and as an officer and administrator Mr. Parella did his part to maintain the quality of life in East Providence. Make no mistake, Christopher Parella the man and the police chief was far from perfect. None of us are, but in terms of answering the call of duty, he deserves the city’s appreciation as he departs.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.