The election of Michael Imondi as president of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, led WPRI reporter Dan McGowan to ask what effect the new union president will have on the Community Safety Act (CSA) renamed Providence Community-Police Relations Act (PCPRA).
Previous union president Robert Boehm lost his re-election bid 302-101. Though McGowan says Boehm is “credited by some of his members with helping to water down” the CSA, the STEP UP Network, the group of community organizations that forced the CSA through the Providence City Council to ultimate passage, wrote that they appreciate “Sgt Boehm’s hard work to open up dialogue between the FOP membership and the Community.”
WPRI reports that Imondi “doesn’t think the ordinance is necessary, however he also doesn’t think there’s enough time to convince the city council to repeal the ordinance before it takes effect…”
The STEP UP Network writes, “We expect that the new FOP President Michael Imondi will communicate whatever concerns he may have about the existing law of our City in a constructive manner.
“The STEP UP Network also expects that the FOP will respect the years of work by all parties that has gone into the passage of the Providence Community Police Relations Act (formerly known as the Community Safety Act). We hope they will engage productively in the implementation of the ordinance and not waste time trying to undo an ordinance that has had several years of vetting by all parties involved. The ordinance is looked to as a model by other cities who are also seeking ways to increase communications and accountability between the community and the police. Now is the time for moving forward together in this important work.”
Upon passage, the Providence City Council called the CSA “one of the most progressive policing bills in the United States,” one that “includes a broad range of measures that strengthen protections for youth, transgender individuals, people of color, and immigrants. The comprehensive scope of the ordinance makes it the first of its kind in the country.”