CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) – The Central Falls Police Department will soon be looking for a new chief, as its current top cop is on the move.
Police Chief Col. James Mendonca told Eyewitness News that he’s retiring from the force later this month and taking over as the Director of Safety and Security/Chief of Campus Police at Rhode Island College in Providence.
His last day on the job in Central Falls is April 25, and he’ll be sworn in at RIC on April 29.
Mendonca joined the Central Falls Police Department in 1990 and was named the city’s 16th chief of police in 2013. He is also the immediate former president of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association.
The department’s second-in-command, Major Daniel Barzykowski, will take over until a permanent replacement is selected.
Last week, city officials announced that the city’s violent crime rate in 2018 was its lowest in 25 years, with double-digit declines in each of the last three years. Mendonca and Mayor James Diossa attributed the progress to the department’s focus on community policing.