PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – As the investigation into an incident involving a veteran Providence police officer continues, the public safety commissioner confirms for Target 12 that three rookie officers have been disciplined for behavior tied to the weekend of their police academy graduation.
The Columbus Day weekend started with a Friday celebration of a class of 53 police recruits being sworn in at Rhode Island College. But 36 hours later, David Sanchez, 25, of Cranston, and his fiancee Delilah Rivera, also of Cranston, were implicated in a larceny case involving a cell phone allegedly taken during a celebration involving rookies and veterans. Sanchez would be served a notice to turn in his badge by the following Tuesday.
Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare now says another rookie who “acted inappropriately” during the larceny investigation has been punished. A second rookie, who as first reported by Target 12 ended up with a pair of bruises on his face after an incident at a Providence bar the night of the alleged larceny, has also been punished according to Pare. Pare said the third rookie was punished for not showing up to the Columbus Day Parade.
Pare said the three rookies were given summary punishment, which carries a range of discipline from a verbal reprimand up to a maximum of two days suspension without pay. Pare would not detail how the officers were punished or confirm their names. Rookies are on probation for a year and not covered by the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights or the police union.
Police Chief Hugh Clements said Sanchez remains under investigation in the larceny case. Rivera was charged with misdemeanor larceny for allegedly taking the phone, which according to the incident report, ended up in Sanchez’s pants pocket.
Pare confirmed last week that a veteran Providence police detective had recommended not hiring Sanchez who had a criminal record with two misdemeanors, including one count of possession of marijuana. Pare emphasized that the department can and do hire officers with criminal records in their past, and he said recommendations are only one factor when considering a recruit.
Also connected to the police academy was an incident involving another veteran officer. Pare said he was punished after he kissed an usher at the ceremony when she asked him to clear the aisle. Pare would not provide the officer’s name or say how he was punished.
Texas Case Remains Open
In an unrelated probe, Providence police continue to investigate a veteran officer who was involved in an “incident” last weekend in the Dallas, Texas area. Pare would not confirm the veteran officer’s name, or provide any details about what prompted the investigation.
Pare says the officer was off-duty at the time of the incident and that he has not been disciplined at this point.