Providence police union, councilmen seek repairs at public safety complex

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – From leaky pipes to broken doors, two Providence City Council members are calling on the Elorza administration to make several repairs to the 15-year-old public safety complex.

Councilors John Igliozzi (Ward 7) and Luis Aponte (Ward 10) will introduce a resolution at Thursday’s meeting calling for the city to submit a report identifying all necessary repairs needed within the complex.

The resolution lists 19 already-known problems, including leaking pipes in the basement, gym, and locker room, multiple broken doors, tripping hazards, holes in walls and the lack of a wall between the men’s and women’s locker room.

“When their facilities are in such dire need of repairs, it is more difficult for the hardworking men and women of the police department to perform their vital duties on behalf of the people of Providence,” the resolution states.

Igliozzi and Aponte are also requesting that a portion of the proceeds from an upcoming infrastructure bond “be earmarked to cover the costs of repairing the problems identified” in the report.

In an interview, Providence Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 President Sgt. Robert Boehm explained that many of the problems listed in the resolution have existed for several years. He showed reporters a door near the locker room that took several attempts to open.

Boehm said the city has made an attempt to fix some of the complex’s issues – including leaks – but other challenges have emerged.

“They fixed the leaks, but they don’t repair the ceiling,” he said.

Boehm said he wants to work with city leaders to solve the problems. He said he doesn’t have a price estimate for all the necessary repairs.

“It’s all of us again working collectively to get it done,” he said.

Emily Crowell, a spokesperson for the Elorza administration said “many, if not most,” of the items listed in the resolution have been addressed already, but she didn’t provide a list of improvements.

“The department of public property will work closely with the Providence Police Department to evaluate any of the additional items on the list,” she said.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan