ELORZA CAMPAIGN BLASTS CIANCI ADMINISTRATION’S FAILED PERFORMANCE ON PUBLIC SAFETY

Providence, RI – The Elorza for Mayor campaign today called attention to Buddy Cianci’s failed record on crime and public safety as Mayor of Providence.

“Buddy Cianci’s empty promises around election time about reducing crime need to be evaluated against his failed record on public safety as Mayor of Providence, said campaign spokesman David Ortiz. “The Cianci record is characterized by rising crime, failure to implement community policing, constant political interference in the Providence Police Department and widespread corruption.”

The Elorza campaign pointed to crime statistics that showed in Cianci’s final six years as Mayor, violent crimes were increasing in Providence while there were declines in other cities in the Northeast. This was the price Providence residents paid for a police department in which promotions were made based on political considerations rather than merit, the Mayor interfered in the selection of applicants for the Police Academy and police officers were expected to sell Cianci fundraising tickets.

One example cited by the Elorza campaign was the promotional testing scandal in which certain police officers were given advanced copies of the exams. Cianci’s hand-picked police Chief  Urbano Prignano admitted while testifying under a grant of immunity in the Plunderdome case that he helped select officers cheat on exams.

Respected Providence Journal reporter Amanda Milkovitz writing in that newspaper captured the culture of Cianci’s police department: “People on the street dubbed Providence cops ‘Buddy’s Boys.’ It didn’t matter who the cop was. They were all seen as part of former Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr.’s clubhouse – with favors, promotions and special treatment dealt to those who contributed to his campaign.”

The Elorza campaign added that while other cities were already reaping the benefits of community policing, under Cianci Providence lagged behind. Community policing was a separate and small unit under Cianci, not at all integrated into the whole department.

The police department also handled neighborhood concerns about police brutality by attempting to sweep them under the rug, refusing to make 295 civilian complaints, many by African American and Latino residents. (They were ultimately made public because of a ruling by Judge Fortunato). Similarly, under Cianci, the police department did not participate fully in statewide racial profiling studies of traffic stops until forced to by a court order.

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