BLM RI PAC responds to the appointment of Oscar Perez as the new chief of the Providence Police Department


Providence, Rhode Island - The BLM RI PAC would like to congratulate Chief Oscar Perez on his new appointment as Chief of Police of the Providence Police Department. This is a historic moment for our city as Chief Perez is the first person of color to lead the department. Chief Perez has been a member of PPD for 29 years, beginning as a patrol officer and most recently serving as Deputy Chief of PPD. Perez developed PPD’s Community Relations Bureau, implemented a department-wide community policing policy, and spearheaded several community relations initiatives. Chef Perez migrated to the United States from Columbia at the young age of 13. 


As the Providence Police Department transitions under Mayor Brett Smiley and Chief Perez, the BLM RI PAC would like to continue a dialogue with the department and leadership in hopes of making transformational changes to policing in Providence. As acting chief, leaders of the BLM RI PAC had the opportunity to form a line of communication with Chief Perez, and we hope it remains open and fruitful.


Although progress has been made, many pressing issues still need to be addressed in our community around public safety, ranging from accountability, transparency, and the work to dismantling systemic flaws in policing itself. Chief Perez should be prudent in enforcing the Community Safety Act (CSA), which is already standing law, and begin a strong relationship with the Providence External Review Authority (PERA). We hope that during his time as police chief, more emphasis is put on expanding mobile crisis intention teams to reach the growing needs of our citizens with mental and behavioral health issues. 


We look forward to working with Chief Perez and the department to achieve a safer, more effective, and more equitable police department for Providence.