R 185
2015 -- S 0802
Enacted 04/07/2015

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Coyne, Goodwin, Algiere, Lynch, and Conley
Date Introduced: April 07, 2015

     WHEREAS, On April 2nd of 1925, the Rhode Island General Assembly established the
Rhode Island Department of State Police in order to provide for the safety and security of the
citizens of this state with an organized, highly-trained and disciplined, state-wide law
enforcement agency; and
     WHEREAS, In April of 1925, then-Governor Aram Pothier nominated, and the State
Senate confirmed, Everitte St. John Chaffee, as the first Superintendent of the State Police; and
     WHEREAS, Utilizing a highly competitive process which combined physical prowess,
mental acuity, and psychological focus, and relying heavily on military experience and
organizational concepts, Colonel Chaffee selected 23 applicants, from an original pool of 600, to
become the first members of the State Police; and
     WHEREAS, The Department's first headquarters opened on April 14th of 1925, at the
Providence Marine Corps of Artillery Headquarters on Benefit Street in Providence and
equipment and uniforms were procured; and
     WHEREAS, Rigorous training of the new recruits referred to as "The Amateurs" by the
Colonel, began in May. Sadly, the first officer to be killed in the line of duty, John Weber,
occurred on June 17th. Graduation for the remaining twenty-two members of the first class
commenced on August 6th; and
     WHEREAS, By the end of 1925, the State Police had established northern, South
County, and an island patrol. Since its inception, 756 men and women have served as members of
the Rhode Island State Police with seven of those officers dying "In the Service of the State":
Recruit Trooper John Weber, Trooper Arthur L. Staples, Jr., Lieutenant Arnold L. Poole, Trooper
Joseph J. Gallivan, Trooper Bradford G. Mott, Trooper Daniel L. O’Brien, and Sergeant Walter J.
Burgess; and
     WHEREAS, In addition, twelve Superintendents have served the Rhode Island State
Police: Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee, Colonel Edward J. Kelley, Colonel Jonathan F.
Harwood, Colonel E. Ralph Bonat, Colonel John T. Sheehan, Colonel Walter E. Stone, Colonel
Harrie C. Gill, Colonel Bernard W. Manchester, Colonel Edmond S. Culhane, Jr., Colonel Steven
M. Pare, Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell; and
     WHEREAS, Since 1925, the proud and long-standing tradition of excellence in law
enforcement has remained the hallmark of the Rhode Island State Police and they have diligently
upheld the original Core Values of Honor, Honesty, Courage, Fairness, Integrity, Excellence, and
Devotion to Duty; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island Providence Plantations
hereby celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Rhode Island Department of State
Police. We moreover honor and thank all the courageous men and women whose distinguished
and dedicated service has protected the people of this state for the past nine decades; and be it
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell.