R 159
2000-S 2905
Enacted 4/6/2000

S  E  N  A  T  E     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Senators Kelly and Blais Date Introduced:  April 6, 2000

WHEREAS, On April 2, 1925, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a law creating the State Police; and

WHEREAS, The very first State Police Headquarters opened on April 14, 1925 in the Marine Corps Armory on Benefit Street in Providence; and

WHEREAS, Approximately six hundred candidates applied, twenty-three positions were filled; and

WHEREAS, St. John Chaffee, a World War I officer and the 1st Superintendent of the State Police, was very influenced by his military experience. Whereby using his military organization and techniques to mold the Rhode Island State Police. All the ardent appointees had served in the Armed Forces, their experience in military service certainly prepared them for what lie ahead; and

WHEREAS, Authorization was granted in 1931 for the purchase of land on the Louisquisset Pike in Lincoln, RI, better known as the "Lincoln Barracks." This served as the first headquarters for the department as well as the operations center; and

WHEREAS, The State Police Force suffered a great loss when two officers died in the line of duty. In 1931, Trooper Arthur Staples, and then in 1934, Lieutenant Arnold L. Poole. Trooper Staples was sadly and tragically killed two miles from the spot where Lt. Arnold Poole lost his life; and

WHEREAS, Since Superintendent Everitte St. John Chaffee's retirement, the RI State Police have had nine superintendents, Colonel Edward J. Kelley, 1934-1939 and 1941-1947, Colonel Jonathan H. Harwood, 1939-1941, Colonel E. Ralph Bonat, 1947-1950, Colonel John T. Sheehan, 1950-1959, Colonel Walter E. Stone, 1959-1961 and 1963-1990, and presently Superintendent Edward Culhane; and

WHEREAS, In 1938, a hurricane hit the New England and North Atlantic states. The Department was commended for their diligent and selfless efforts for quickly answering the call of humanity in the hour of distress;

WHEREAS, The number of troopers on the force increased, it also added the 1st woman, Ruth C. Cunningham; and

WHEREAS, Walter Stone, the longest acting Superintendent of the State Police, formed and guided the department's 1st detective bureau, making Rhode Island one of the first states in the nation to implement the centralized reporting of essential crime information; and

WHEREAS, The steadfast pride and discipline continues in the force today, unchanging in a world of constant change. The recruiting process is still extremely selective. As always, one has to prove him or herself, intellectually, physically and at the same time possessing a professional demeanor; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby congratulates these unparalleled and distinguished individuals for selfless service to the citizens of Rhode Island and hereby proclaims April 9th annually as "Rhode Island State Police Day"; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island State Police.

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