A longtime member of the Providence Police Department has been named the city’s new police chief and is the first Latino to serve in the position, Mayor Brett Smiley announced Friday.
Cmdr. Oscar Perez is Providence’s 38th chief of police.
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“Chief Perez has demonstrated he is the dedicated public servant that can foster strong relationships within the community and is lasered focus on the quality-of-life issues our residents identified as top priorities for the next Chief,” Smiley said in a statement.
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Perez has served in the city’s police department for 29 years, first as a patrol officer and recently as deputy chief, according to the mayor. He is originally from Colombia and at 13 he came to Providence, where he attended and graduated from the city’s public schools, the mayor’s office said.
“Serving as Chief of Police for the city that welcomed me so many years ago and that has become my home is the honor of a lifetime,” Perez said in a statement. “I am excited to give back to my community, to work with my colleagues in uniform to provide them with the proper training and resources, supporting our officers’ health and wellness, and to get to work on the big issues – decreasing gun violence, preventing crimes, supporting our youth and improving the quality-of-life in our city.”