State Police Lt. Colonel named Cranston’s next top cop

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (left) named RISP Lt. Col. Michael Winquist (podium) as the city's next police chief. (Photo: Scott Del Sole/WPRI 12)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – If the City Council gives its approval, the man currently second-in-command at the Rhode Island State Police will become Cranton’s new police chief.

During a news conference at city hall Thursday afternoon, Mayor Allan Fung officially tapped Lt. Col. Michael Winquist to head the city’s embattled police department.

“I am proud to introduce today the next police chief of the great city of Cranston, Lt. Col. Michael Winquist from the Rhode State Police,” Fung said.

“I look forward to bringing the lessons I learned at the state police over to the Cranston Police Department,” said Winquist. “But I want to be clear, this department is going to have its own autonomy. It’s not going to be an extension of the Rhode Island State Police.”

Former Chief Marco Palombo was placed on paid administrative leave in January after the launch of an investigation into a ticketing scandal.

Dozens of citations were issued in specific wards allegedly as political payback. Palombo was cleared in that probe, but retired in March.

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