Former East Providence officer Broadmeadow has become a prodigious author

Latest book with Doherty, “It’s Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and Other Stories,” focuses on “The Mafia”

By Mike Rego
Posted 12/2/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — The next literary endeavor for former East Providence police officer turned author Joe Broadmeadow is to complete a youth “fantasy” trilogy series based off his …

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.


Former East Providence officer Broadmeadow has become a prodigious author

Latest book with Doherty, “It’s Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and Other Stories,” focuses on “The Mafia”

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The next literary endeavor for former East Providence police officer turned author Joe Broadmeadow is to complete a youth “fantasy” trilogy series based off his initial work in the genre “Saving The Last Dragon,” the theme of which is one teen’s quest to find a dragon’s egg buried deep on Diamond Hill in the writer’s native Cumberland.

The story stretches one’s imagine for sure, but not so unlike the three non-fiction tomes he’s penned reaching back into his law enforcement career, the latest of which he co-authored with former Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Brendan Doherty titled, “It’s Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and Other Stories.”

“Brendan and I began collaborating on the book a little over a year ago,” Mr. Broadmeadow said during interviews conducted via email and in-person. “I’ve written two other books on organized crime affiliates, “Choices: You Make ‘em You Own ‘em” about Jerry Tillinghast and “UnMade: Honor, Loyalty, Redemption” about Robert Walason, three crime novels and a young adult fantasy series. The opportunity to write about one of the ‘good’ guys was too hard to pass up.”

Mr. Broadmeadow returned to the city recently for a book discussion along with Mr. Doherty at the Weaver Library when they lended those in attendance an inside look at the investigations, covert surveillances and “murky” world of informants in their duel with organized crime.

Mr. Doherty served for almost 30 years on the State Police, the last five years as superintendent. He spent much of his career as a detective in the Intelligence Unit targeting “The Mob, The Mafia, La Cosa Nostra.” Mr. Broadmeadow served for 20 years with the EPPD. He also worked in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and on special assignment to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s drug task force.

“The two books I did with Tillinghast and Walason, there’s always more to the story. There’s always more to a person. They’re not all bad and they’re not all good. There’s always more that kind of drives them,” Mr. Broadmeadow explained.

He continued, “It was very easy working with Brendan. And it was nice because Brendan is one of the ‘good’ guys. As a kid, he hung around Grundy’s Gym in Central Falls. It was known back then for its ‘wise guys.’ But he had great family support that kept him on the straight-and-narrow. He could have gone the other way, but he didn’t.”

Mr. Broadmeadow’s career path veered towards literature for good once he retired from the EPPD. Starting in 1978, he rose to the rank of captain, finishing his tenure in 1998 leading the Services Division after previously guiding the Investigative Services/Detective Unit. Having an affinity for writing dating back to his days in grammar school, Mr. Broadmeadow said his passion for the craft was further enhanced while attending Cumberland High School.

“I had a couple of teachers there who really encouraged me to write,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I’m still in touch with them. They critique my books, quite critically I might add.”

Mr. Broadmeadow continued to put pen to paper as a police officer, submitting works to newspapers and magazines. It wasn’t until after he retired, however, that he took up the vocation more seriously urged on by his wife, Susan.

“After I was off the police department, I had some time and I always wanted to write a novel, but it takes a lot of time,” he explained. “I wrote the first two books and they sold really well, but it wasn’t as fun to write as novels. It’s a lot of work, a lot of research. For the Tillinghast book I read all the cases. Nothing is more boring than trial transcripts. You have to really commit yourself.”

Writing non-fiction is more to his liking. Mr. Broadmeadow has completed three other novels, “Collision Course,” “Silenced Justice” and “A Change of Hate.” He’s also had short stories published in two collections, “Run: A Collection of Dark Tales” and “Scream: A Collection of Dark Tales.” In addition, he’s written a fictionalized take inspired by his own hike of the Appalachian Trail, “Spirit of the Trail.”

“The first novel I wrote, it’s funny, I told everyone I was writing this novel and they would ask me when is it coming out, when is it coming out? So I had to write it, and I eventually did,” he said. “It was that incentive. It’s like you write a check, you have to make sure there’s money in the bank to cover it.”

Mr. Broadmeadow is now turning his full focus to the kids’ series. “Saving The Last Dragon” was finished in 2015 and began the trilogy, which he hopes to have finished by the 2020 Christmas season. The story is centered on a wheel-chair bound teenage boy whom Mr. Broadmeadow describes as a “dragon seeker…destined to find the dragon’s egg hidden for centuries in Diamond Hill.”

“I grew up in Cumberland. When we were kids we thought Diamond Hill had diamonds, so we would go up there and dig for diamonds,” Mr. Broadmeadow recollected. “Well, we never found any diamonds, but I decided to put something magical there. It’s been fun, a fun project to work on. I’m looking forward to finishing it.”

“It's Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and Other Stories,” by Joe Broadmeadow and Brendan Doherty is available on Kindle for $9.99 and in Paperback for $17.99 by visiting amazon.com/Joe-Broadmeadow/e/B00OWPE9GU.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.