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Plans to keep Central Falls chief employed by Providence scrapped


Central Falls Police Chief Anthony Roberson

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The plan to keep the new Central Falls police chief on the books at the Providence Police Department until next year is no longer moving forward.

Col. Anthony Roberson — formerly a Providence police sergeant — has resigned from the city of Providence, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré confirmed. Roberson, who was recently sworn in as the police chief in Central Falls, had initially been using up his vacation and sick time in Providence while working at his new job, therefore getting paid a full salary by both cities.

After exhausting his paid time off, Roberson was also planning to take a one year unpaid leave of absence in Providence while working as the chief in Central Falls, which would have allowed him to reach 20 years of service in Providence and receive the maximum pension.

The plans were scrapped this week, Paré said, in part because the city determined the practice was not as common as originally thought. Paré and Roberson had previously told 12 News it was common practice to allow for an unpaid leave of absence when an officer leaves the force but is close to reaching 20 years of service.

“We looked at past practice, if it had been done in the past, and it had not in over a decade,” Paré said Friday.

The plan had raised eyebrows among rank-and-file officers including the union in Central Falls, which questioned Roberson’s commitment to the department if he was still employed by the city of Providence.

“I’m committed to the city of Central Falls and I will be here for years to come,” Roberson said earlier this month.

Roberson will still be eligible for a pension from Providence after the age of 55.

Steph Machado ( covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook

Anita Baffoni contributed to this report.

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