Rhode Island's top police official, Col. Ann C. Assumpico, is slated to turn in her badge in January and step down as top cop.
Assumpico, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and director of the Department of Public Safety, announced on Christmas Eve that she will retire effective January 2019.
"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," Assumpico said in a press release. "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 Jan. 14, 2019."
Appointed as head of the force on Nov. 3, 2016, Assumpico became the first woman to lead the department since it was founded in 1925. She was the 13th superintendent.
Assumpico has been a law enforcement officer for nearly 42 years and joined the Rhode Island State Police in 1992. She had previously served as a correctional officer at theAdult Correctional Institutions for eight years, as well as working for seven years as a member of the Coventry Police Department.
In her announcement, Assumpico said she was making plans to retire in 2016 when Gov. Gina M. Raimondo asked that she stay on to take command. Raimondo and Assumpico agreed at that time that increasing diversity in the ranks needed to be a top priority.
Over the past two years, Assumpico led an initiative that sought to address the issue through a combination of recruitment and retention, leading to some of the most diverse police classes in state history.
Assumpico was also credited with changing department recruitment and hiring practices for the Rhode Island Capitol Police to improve diversity there, as well. Last week, she oversaw the graduation of 15 new Capitol officers: 13 men and 2 women, five whom were members of minority groups.
“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.
— Sun staff