New chief sworn in despite controversy in Westerly

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) – The former top cop of the West Warwick Police Department is now the new chief in Westerly, though his change in departments does come with some controversy.

The issue stems after Town Manager Derrik Kennedy appointed Chief Richard Silva instead of choosing an internal candidate for the position.

Eyewitness News Reporter Steve Nielsen sat down with the new chief to see how he’s dealing transition.

“It’s my second day on the job and everything is going really well,” said Silva.

The police union, who wanted an internal hire, argues the Town Manger should be investigated.

In a statement, the union says “the only reasonable course of action to restore integrity and transparency into this entire situation is to postpone the appointment of the Chief of Police until an investigation is completed.”

Chief Silva says he was interviewed four different times by several people. He says he looks forward to this new challenge.

Eyewitness News reached out to Westerly Town Manager Derrik Kennedy for comment. We did not hear back.