PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A bill that would authorize the town of Portsmouth to build and design a new police department is making its way through the Rhode Island General Assembly.
The House approved the bill Wednesday night. If the Senate approves the bill, a $10 million bond referendum would go to voters in Portsmouth for approval.
The current police department is four decades old and, according to Rep. Dennis Canario – the bill’s sponsor – it’s woefully outdated.
“The current police station was built in the 1970’s and it was built for the 70’s. So there was no female officer locker room, crucial technology systems are housed in inadequate non-cooled rooms, officers must store their gear in boiler rooms, there is no public space for events such as the citizens’ police academy, and in today’s climate, and the layout of station is below standards for the public and the officers. These are among the many reasons a new station is needed,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “If approved by the voters, these bonds will allow the town to build a police station that everyone can be proud of and one that would be able to serve the citizens in the most effective and state of the art way possible.”