The City of Cranston

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Police Department

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Police Department Performance Audit Executive Summary
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The Cranston Police Department is a 152 member department, comprised of the Chief of Police, who holds the rank of Colonel (Chief of Police); one Major (Deputy Chief); one Commander (Chief of Administrative Services); six Captains; six Lieutenants, eighteen Sergeants; and 118 at the rank of Officer.

A civilian staff of 52 full and part time employees supports the sworn personnel.

Also under the direction of the Chief of Police is the Animal Shelter and Animal Control Officers, who are supplemented by volunteers.

The Police Department, located at 5 Garfield Avenue 02920, is comprised of four divisions and several specialized units.

As with all police departments, the Patrol Division or Uniform Division is the backbone of the department and has the largest complement of sworn personnel within the agency. As the name implies, the Patrol Division is the highly visible police presence seen throughout the City in marked police vehicles.

The Patrol Division has the primary responsibility of protecting the citizens of Cranston, deterring crime, enforcing the laws, and apprehending violators. The Patrol Division also handles the preliminary investigation when a crime occurs, investigates traffic accidents, and enforces traffic regulations. In most cases, public contact with the Police Department is conducted through the Patrol Division.

The Detective Division is responsible for the initiation of and follow up of investigation matters that may be beyond the scope and/or expertise of the Patrol Division. Members of the Detective Division are called to assist the Patrol Division on all serious crimes and major investigations.

The B.C.I. Unit (Bureau of Criminal Identification) processes crime scenes for evidence and maintains records of individuals who are arrested by the Cranston Police Department. This Unit also handles background checks for health care providers and childcare workers as provided by state law.

A specialized unit within the Detective Division is the Family Service Unit. The officers assigned to this unit have the primary responsibility of handling investigations involving youthful offenders or victims, or cases involving sexual assaults. Two school liaison officers as well as one detective assigned exclusively to the school department are also attached to this unit.

The Prosecution Unit is responsible for compiling information and data and assisting with the presentation of that data in court proceedings.

The Staff and Services Division is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Police Department and is also the area where most of the department's civilian personnel work. There are several units within the Staff And Services Division. These include Radio Maintenance; Dispatch; Computer and Financial Operations; Report Transcription; Animal Shelter; and Records.

For a fee of 15 cents per page, copies of accident reports and other police reports may be obtained through the Records Unit between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM, Monday - Friday. Reports are usually available three days after the date of the incident. Call for hours and free information.

The Office of Professional Standards handles complaints against police officers as well as other municipal employees.

The Crime Prevention/Training Division is responsible for the screening and initial training of new members of the department. The Training Division also maintains a continuous in-service training program so that members of the department are kept abreast of changes in the law, new departmental procedures and policies, annual firearms training, and new methods/techniques to better serve the public.

Also serving under the direction of the Training Division Commander are the D.A.R.E. officers. These dedicated and highly trained officers teach the eminently successful D.A.R.E. Program in the Cranston School System. This program instructs the school children of Cranston how to resist the lure and temptation of drugs. The D.A.R.E. Program, which originated in Los Angeles and is now a nationally offered program, was introduced in Rhode Island by the Cranston Police Department and is now offered in virtually all communities in the state.

Community Policing is a philosophy that encompasses the belief that law enforcement and the community together identifys the advantage of being coproducers of public safety and quality of life issues. The community policing team consists of one sergeant and three officers. In addition to a Mobile Resource Center, the Community Police Unit has offices, or sub-stations, at several locations throughout the City. The Mobile Resource Center, a large office-on-wheels, allows the Community Police Officers to move into different neighborhoods to address problems that may arise. Sub-stations are also located at the Cranston Teen Center, 155 Gansett Avenue; Hall Manor, 70 Warwick Avenue; and Harris House, 28 Harris Avenue.

Cranston Municipal Court is located on the lower level of Police Headquarters. Fines may be paid between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM, Monday - Friday. Court is in session on selected Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 8:30 AM with check-in time set at 8 AM.

Cranston V.I.N. (Vehicle Identification Number) Verification Station, located at 929 Phenix Avenue, is open on Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
As mandated by state law, any vehicle that has an out-of-state title prior to being registered in this state must have its vehicle identification numbers inspected and verified.
There is a $15.00 fee for this inspection.

more V.I.N. detailed information

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