NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Patriotic music like ‘America the Beautiful’ was sung during Sunday Mass at Mary Mother of Mankind Church in North Providence on Sunday.
There pastor there is also the chaplain of North Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police so he organized the day to honor the city’s outgoing chief.
A grateful community honored those who put their lives on the line to protect and serve others.
“I think we need more police because of all the civil unrest and the racial unrest that’s happening in the country. I want to thank you all for what you do each and every day,” Dominick Ruggerio said.
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio joined local mayors and community members in thanking all first responders and especially North Providence Police Chief Col. Arthur Martins, who’s set to retire next month.
“You were very important in Pawtucket, I know that you and some strong leadership and partnership with Mayor Lombardi,” Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien said.
Chief Martins served on the police force in Pawtucket for 28 years, followed by three years at the State Attorney General’s Office, and then as Deputy Chief and most recently Chief of Police in North Providence.
“It’s a nice sendoff. Maybe in one way, I made an impact on certain people, which more often than not you’re not aware those impacts you’ve had on certain people, especially in public service. You’re just going out an doing your job as best you can, and you don’t realize the impact,” Martins said.
Martins said he’s focusing now on his family.
“It’s been a long career and it’s time to focus on different aspects and enjoy life a little bit more in a more relaxing mode.”
North Providence Deputy Chief Alfredo Ruggiero will step up as chief upon Martins’ retirement.
Martins said his focus throughout his career has been on community and he just a phone call away, if Ruggiero needs any help in the transition.