Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann Assumpico Stepping Down

RISP Colonel stepping down

Col. Ann C. Assumpico, state police superintendent and director of the Department of Public Safety, confirmed Monday afternoon her intent to retire next month after launching what she called “the most diverse State Police Training Academy in the state’s history.” Assumpico became the first woman to run the state police when Gov. Gina Raimondo appointed her in November 2016. Assumpico, 62, did not state a reason for her retirement after 26 years on the force, or for the abrupt announcement on Christmas Eve. “My goal from day one was to increase diversity throughout our ranks, to more accurately reflect the ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic communities our agency serves,” she said in a statement. “I am immensely proud of the steps we have taken to achieve this goal, including promoting women and minorities in all ranks and creating a new recruitment process that resulted in a record number of women and minority recruits for the State Police Training Academy Class that is scheduled to begin on January 14,” Assumpico said. “I have full confidence that these new recruits will help our agency better serve and protect members of all communities throughout our state.” As director of training, Assumpico ranked seventh in the chain of command, and her ascension to superintendent two years ago moved her past other higher-ranking state police leaders. After Assumpico’s announcement on Christmas Eve, the governor issued a brief statement. “Colonel Assumpico has led the State Police with honor and integrity,” Raimondo said. “She has shown a consistent focus on increasing opportunities for women and people of color in law enforcement, and because of her hard work, next month’s Training Academy will be the most diverse in state history. Rhode Island is a safer place thanks to her service.” Assumpico has been a law-enforcement officer for 42 years, starting as a correctional officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions and then joining the Coventry police. In 1992, she became a state trooper. She was planning to retire in 2016 when Raimondo asked her to assume command. When she was sworn in, women made up only 1 percent of the police chiefs in the nation. Just 13 percent of the law-enforcement ranks were women, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and state police agencies in particular were the slowest to integrate. Assumpico’s goal was to change that. She said in 2016 that one of her priorities was to increase diversity within the agency, and nearly a third of the people she promoted — 10 out of 36 — were women and minorities, including two members of the command staff. Last year, Assumpico sought an outside law-enforcement consultant and paid $225,000 out of the state police budget for a report to analyze the agency and develop strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse force. The consultant’s report and recommendations released in January were the first-ever outside assessment of the state police, according to a spokeswoman. Assumpico used the recommendations to revamp recruitment and retention strategies, and a recruitment drive a year ago resulted in one of the largest, most diverse pools of candidates in the state police history. At least 44 percent of the 1,403 applicants were women or members of minority groups, according to the state police. When the academy starts on Jan. 14, nearly half of the recruits will be women and minorities. That includes 31 men and 9 women, and 19 members of minority groups. At the Capitol Police, which Assumpico oversees, the new class was more diverse. “I am proud of the efforts we have made over these past two years and believe we have set a good path for the future, to help continue the agency’s storied traditions of providing service with excellence, while also ensuring that our troopers truly reflect members of the communities we serve now and, in the future,” Assumpico said in the statement Monday.

12/28/18

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