Rhode Island State Police

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Rhode Island State Police
Abbreviation RISP
Rhode Island State Police.jpg
Patch of the Rhode Island State Police.
Motto "In the Service of the State"
Agency overview
Formed April 2, 1925 (1925-04-02)
Employees 233 (as of 2004)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Rhode Island, USA
RI - State Police Troop Map.png
Map of Rhode Island State Police's jurisdiction.
Size 1,545 square miles (4,000 km2)
Population 1,057,832 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters North Scituate, Rhode Island
Troopers 190 (as of 2004)[3]
Civilians 43 (as of 2004)[4]
Agency executives
  • Steven G. O'Donnell, Colonel of the Rhode Island State Police
  • Michael J. Winquist, Lieutenant Colonel of the Rhode Island State Police
Parent agency Rhode Island Department of Public Safety
Facilities
Barracks 5
Website
www.risp.ri.gov
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Rhode Island State Police (RISP) is an agency of the state of Rhode Island responsible for statewide law enforcement and regulation, especially in areas underserved by local police agencies and on the state's limited-access highways. Its headquarters is in North Scituate, Rhode Island.

History[edit]

The RISP was founded in 1925 at the request of the state's General Assembly, and was modeled on the organization structure of the Pennsylvania State Police. Its first headquarters was in the Benefit Street Marine Corps Armory in Providence, which stationed the first twenty-three troopers and the Superintendent. At this stage, the division relied heavily on Indian motorcycles to perform their wide-ranging duties.

In 1936, the RISP acquired the so-called Coggeshall property in North Scituate. Consisting of approximately 145 acres of land and many outbuildings, the centerpiece of the property and new headquarters building was the Coggeshall Mansion, built in the late 1800s. The mansion and outbuildings are still in use by the RISP.

During this time, the division organized itself into three patrol districts comprising the northern, southern, and "island" parts of the state. As the twentieth century progressed, the RISP enlarged and modified itself, establishing new barracks and instituting new programs to further meet its statewide policing mandate.

RISP at present[edit]

Currently the RISP is composed of two districts, District "A" which covers the northern half of the state and District "B" which covers the southern half of the state. There are five patrol commands, referred to as barracks,[5] located in:

The RISP fields an additional patrol command at the TF Green Airport in Warwick.

Construction of the Rhode Island State Police Headquarters was completed in 2010 in North Scituate on the same property where the Administrative Services building once stood. The building serves as a Public Safety Complex and houses the RISP Patrol Bureau, Detective Bureau, Administrative Bureau, and many other specialized units. It also houses the E 9-1-1 Uniform Emergency Telephone System. The outer buildings and Coggeshall Mansion house administrative and logistical support units and are located on the same grounds as the headquarters building. Also on the grounds of the Public Safety Complex in North Scituate is the RISP Museum, which is open to the public.

The Division also maintains specialized units such as its Charitable Gaming Unit, SWAT team, Dive Team (SCUBA), Intelligence Unit, Detective Unit, Governor's Security Unit, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, Training Academy staff, Canine Team, Computer Crimes Unit, Financial Crimes Unit, Narcotics Unit, and Criminal Identification Unit as well as many other specialized units.

The Rhode Island State Police Academy is located in the town of Foster. The site was originally a United States Army Nike Missile Base which was decommissioned and turned over to the state of Rhode Island. The state then turned the facility over to the state police as the location for their new training academy.

The current issue sidearm to each Trooper is a SIG Sauer P226 DAK (Double Action Kellerman) semi-automatic pistol chambered in .357 SIG caliber.

Less-lethal weapons issued to Troopers include OC pepper spray and the Expandable Straight Baton.

The Rhode Island State Police achieved its initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 1994, and was reaccredited in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011. The Division achieved Flagship Status in 2005, 2008, and 2011, and received the Accreditation with Excellence Award in 2011.

Uniforms[edit]

The uniform of the Rhode Island State Police is unique and popular among the law enforcement community. The uniform has also won best dressed in the country in previous years and in 2005, The National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) presented the Rhode Island State Police with an 80th Anniversary Commemorative Uniform Award. Unlike most police departments, Rhode Island State Troopers do not wear a traditional badge. Instead, they wear a set of numbers stamped in brass, placed onto a piece of black fabric, with red piping on the edges, over the left breast on the uniform shirt. The RISP does, however, issue a wallet badge for off-duty use/identification. The badge is gold colored for all ranks.

Unlike most other police agencies around the country that utilize black leather duty gear and footwear, the RISP wears leather duty gear and footwear (High Boots or Shoes Depending On The Uniform Season) that is a deep chestnut brown color. This creates for a very distinctive look. RISP high boots, shoes and most of the leather duty gear is produced by the historic Dehner Boot Company of Omaha Nebraska. The RISP also has the distinction of being one of the few if not the only agency to have three seasonal uniform changes as opposed to the standard two season (Summer & Winter) uniform change that most agencies utilize. The three consist of the Winter Uniform (High Boots, Breeches, Long Sleeve Shirt, W/ Sam Browne Strap), Spring/Fall Uniform (Shoes, Regular Uniform Pants, Long Sleeve Shirt, W/ Sam Browne Strap) and Summer Uniform (Shoes, Regular Uniform Pants, Short Sleeve Shirt, W/O Sam Browne Strap).

The primary colors on the State Police uniform are Black and Red. The epaulets worn on uniform shirts and dress blouses are black and piped in red. The stripe on the spring/fall and summer uniform pants is a wide black stripe while the striping on the winter/dress uniform breeches is a wide black stripe that is piped with a thinner red stripe. The spring/fall and summer uniform pants and shirts are a lighter charcoal gray while the winter and dress pants and shirts are a darker charcoal gray. A black tie is worn with the winter, spring/fall and dress uniforms and is tucked into the uniform shirt after the first button.

The uniform hat of the RISP is a gray straw campaign style hat for the summer and spring/fall uniforms while the winter and dress uniform hat is a tan felt campaign style hat. Both hats feature a brown leather band at the base of the hat and a gold colored hat badge mounted on a brown leather backing.

Specialized units (K-9, Tactical Unit, etc.) are authorized to wear BDU style utility uniforms and black nylon web duty gear.

Rhode Island State Police Uniforms (L-R): K-9 Utility, SWAT, Winter Patrol, Winter Patrol with Cold Weather Parka, Summer Dress Uniform, Cold Weather Utility, Ceremonial Dress, Summer Patrol, Commercial Enforcement Unit, Motorcycle, Winter Dress Uniform

Rank structure[edit]

Title Insignia
Colonel
US-O6 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
Major
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain
US-O3 insignia.svg
Lieutenant
US-O2 insignia.svg
Sergeant
RISP Sergeant.jpg
Corporal
RISP Corporal.png
Trooper
Blank.jpg

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Rhode Island State Police, seven officers have died in the line of duty.[8]

Officer Date of Death Details
Trooper John Weber
Wednesday, June 17, 1925
Motorcycle accident
Trooper Arthur L. Staples Jr.
Friday, December 18, 1931
Gunfire
Lieutenant Arnold L. Poole
Wednesday, May 30, 1934
Gunfire
Trooper Joseph J. Gallivan
Tuesday, June 22, 1937
Automobile accident
Trooper Bradford G. Mott
Tuesday, May 6, 1941
Motorcycle accident
Trooper Daniel L. O'Brien
Tuesday, August 31, 1954
Weather/Natural disaster
Sergeant Walter J. Burgess
Saturday, November 14, 1959
Automobile accident

In popular culture[edit]

The Rhode Island State Police won the "Best Dressed" award from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) in 1986. On September 30, 1986, six troopers went to New York City to model the uniform on the television show Late Night with David Letterman. [9]

The RISP features prominently in the comedy film Me, Myself and Irene released in 2000, with Jim Carrey playing a state trooper affected with multiple personality disorder.

In the television series Brotherhood (2006 TV series) the character of Declan Giggs, portrayed by the actor Ethan Embry, is a Rhode Island State Police Detective.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]