Sakonnet area police chiefs comment after Derek Chauvin verdict

Posted 4/30/21

SAKONNET AREA — We asked the Little Compton and Tiverton police chiefs for their thoughts after last week’s guilty verdicts against police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George …

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Sakonnet area police chiefs comment after Derek Chauvin verdict

Posted

SAKONNET AREA — We asked the Little Compton and Tiverton police chiefs for their thoughts after last week’s guilty verdicts against police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

The chiefs also announced their departments’ appointments of hate crimes and civil rights liaison officers as recommended by the Rhode Island attorney general.

Training began last week for those officers state-wide with the goal of helping departments “

respond more effectively to bias-motivated misconduct and properly report hate crimes.”

Tiverton Chief of Police Patrick W. Jones

“I am glad that justice was served in the George Floyd case.  This is just a starting point for change as much more work needs to be done.  We need to continue the conversation with community partners and reassess the way we are policing our communities.  Proper training, accountability of officers, and unbiased policing must be bedrock standards for the entire profession.  

Our department has designated two officers to be responsible for Hate Crimes and Civil Rights. First, is Lieutenant Michael Barboza. Lieutenant Barboza is a veteran officer with 20 years of experience. He is the detective commander and prosecution officer for the department. Lieutenant Barboza is responsible for reviewing all criminal cases and investigations. He would review and recommend a case for prosecution or charges related to a hate crime to our town prosecutor and/or Attorney General. 

The second officer is Sergeant Marco Valzovano.  Sergeant Valzovano has been with the department for eight years. He is the accreditation manager and responsible for staff trainings. His role is to ensure that officers and staff are in compliance with current laws, policies and regulations related but not limited to hate crimes and civil rights.  He is also responsible for compiling data on all department activity for review.  

Their roles have not changed.  

This responsibility is something all of our officers are receiving training for initially at the police academy and through continued education at the department.  Both of these officers were selected based on their current duties and experience which I feel dovetails with the policy of the Attorney General’s office and our department’s goals and objections.  They will not receive any stipend or extra pay.

The benefit to the department is essential to our mission and the needs of our community.  This is why we chose two officers as it can be overwhelming for one person given these responsibilities and our own desire to be successful in how we serve.”  

Little Compton Chief of Police Scott Raynes

“On April 20th, a Minneapolis jury rightfully found Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges.  This verdict does not diminish the pain, anguish, frustration and anger felt by the family, friends and supporters of George Floyd.  

This decision is a big step forward in ensuring that all law enforcement officers are held accountable for their actions and demonstrates a need to continue to train our officers in issues of racial bias and equity in policing, so we may better serve our communities.”

Detective Sergeant Patrick Martin was appointed as our Civil Rights and Hate Crimes liaison back in December.”

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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.