Col. James M. Manni was sworn in Friday as the 14th superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police during a ceremony attended by hundreds of well-wishers at the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, who conducted the swearing-in, said “Colonel Manni has dedicated his career to public safety and service, and I’m confident that he will lead the State Police with integrity.”

Manni assumes command after a long career in public service, including 25 years with the State Police, retiring in 2015 as major, the fifth highest-ranking member of the command staff. He then served a short time as director of operations and security for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority before being selected as Narragansett's town manager in 2016.

In December, the governor named him to succeed Col. Ann C. Assumpico, who announced her retirement from the post effective Jan. 19. The state Senate confirmed his appointment on Thursday as superintendent of the state police and director of the Department of Public Safety. His responsibilities include the state police, the municipal police academy, the state's emergency telephone system, the Capitol police, the division of sheriffs, and the office of public safety grants.

Raimondo is proposing to raise the pay for the position to $155,000 from $124,114, The Providence Journal reported.

Retired State Police Col. Brendan P. Doherty was the emcee for Friday's event. Five retired superintendents were in attendance, including Assumpico, Steven G. O’Donnell, Steven M. Pare and Edmond S. Culhane Jr., who collectively led the agency over the past 30 years. U.S. Reps. David M. Cicilline and James Langevin were also in attendance, along with other federal, state and local officials and dozens of top law enforcement officers from throughout New England.

Manni’s wife, Tracey, and daughter, Olivia, sat with him during the ceremony, and it was live-streamed for his son, Army 2nd Lt. James C. Manni, who is scheduled to deploy with the 1st Armored Division to Korea. 

“I am deeply committed to ensuring that every trooper, every barracks and every unit within this agency is properly trained, equipped and prepared to provide an unparalleled level of public service and protection to the citizens of Rhode Island,” Manni said, “and I vow to uphold the honor, traditions and values that continue to make the Rhode Island State Police one of the finest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the United States.“

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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