October 22 Ward Letter

I hope you are enjoying this magical time of year for sports fans, during which all four major professional leagues are in action along with college football.  This week’s letter discusses improvements along River Road, the police department and an upcoming neighborhood meeting on infrastructure repairs.

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I hope you are enjoying this magical time of year for sports fans, during which all four major professional leagues are in action along with college football.  This week’s letter discusses improvements along River Road, the police department and an upcoming neighborhood meeting on infrastructure repairs.

At last week’s meeting, the City Council approved a Resolution to authorize the City to apply for a grant to install a small boat ramp along River Road, probably near Irving Avenue.  It will provide access for recreational uses, alleviate erosion from storm water runoff and support infiltration and storm water management.  The project will cost around $100,000, of which at least 75% will be provided by the State.

In August, the Police Training Academy graduated 55 new officers, whose addition to the force will permit the return of some foot patrols to each of the City’s nine police districts, including Districts 8 and 9, portions of which cover our Ward.  (For a map of the two districts, click here.)  So far this year, property crimes in the two districts combined are down by an overall total of 31.3%, as indicated in this chart:

Crime2017
YTD
2016
YTD
%Change
Burglary118158-33.9%
MV Theft4463-43.2%
MV Larceny273378-38.5%
Larceny226269-19.0%
Total661868-31.3%

These statistics do not tell the whole story.  Data about overall crime levels do not diminish the injuries suffered by any victim of a crime.  The police districts are not strictly contiguous with our neighborhood.  Also, there are other categories of crime that have seen increases.  With that said, the data indicate a favorable overall trend, for which we must give due credit to Chief Clements and the officers who serve under his direction.  The new recruits will help to strengthen a Department that will face challenges in the coming months when the Providence Community Police Relations Act takes effect.  In its recent leadership election, members of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police expressed concerns about the process by which rank and file members were informed of the new Act.  We are fortunate to have Chief Clements on hand to navigate this difficult transition.

Finally, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Nathan Bishop Middle School (please note new date).  At that time, Michael Borg, Director of the Department of Public Works, will discuss plans for infrastructure improvements in our neighborhood, and across the City.  He will be joined by Melissa Malone, the City’s Chief Operating Officer, who will discuss the finances and planning behind the infrastructure bond.  Please consider attending.

                                                                          Sincerely,

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