Raimondo: Assumpico was my first choice for next RISP leader

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Gina Raimondo formally announced her choice for the new head of the Rhode Island State Police on Thursday.

Following the departure of Col. Steven O’Donnell, the governor elected to hire from within and chose Capt. Ann Assumpico as his successor.

“I looked far and wide and I realized the best was right here in Rhode Island, right here on the command staff of the Rhode Island State Police,” said Raimondo.

After the announcement, the women sat down for an exclusive interview with Target 12 Investigator Tim White.

“Actually being female and being superintendent colonel of the RISP, I feel it’s a great asset now,” said Assumpico.

Assumpico, 59, will be the first woman to lead the storied agency in its 91-year history and will become the law enforcement agency’s 13th superintendent.

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The Rhode Island native has been in law enforcement for nearly 40 years. She got her start as a corrections officer at the Adult Correctional Institution, where she served for eight years, and then became an officer in Coventry for seven years. In 1992, she was sworn in as a trooper with the Rhode Island State Police.

Assumpico was promoted to the rank of captain last year and is currently in charge of the training academy for both state and municipal police.

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EXCLUSIVE: Target 12 Investigator Tim White sits down with RI’s new State Police colonel and the governor.

In a statement Thursday, Raimondo called Assumpico a “trooper’s trooper,” saying she will build on the department’s rich tradition.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin also released a statement, saying he looks forward to working with Assumpico.

“While this is a historic moment for the State Police and law enforcement in Rhode Island as Colonel Assumpico is the first woman to lead any police agency in the State, it is her leadership skills for which I believe her appointment is a great choice and the right choice,” Kilmartin stated.

“Over nearly four decades in law enforcement, Ann has established an unparalleled record of public service and unwavering devotion to the people of our state,” added Congressman David Cicilline in a statement. “Her appointment today marks the culmination of a distinguished career keeping our communities safe.”

On Thursday, Raimondo also announced that she would be separating the position of director of the Department of Public Safety and state police colonel which in the past have been a joint job. “I think that good governance is such that you would’nt concentrate so much power and authority into a single person,” she said to Tim White.

The Department of Public Safety oversees the state police, capitol police, Department of Sheriffs, the 911 system, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Municipal Police Training Academy.

Since the appointment is effective immediately, Assumpico will technically serve as “acting colonel” until her official swearing-in ceremony later this year.