PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With Providence Deputy Chief Thomas Oates set to become Woonsocket’s top cop next month, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said Tuesday the city plans to fill the vacancy from within the department.
Pare said the goal is to fill Oates’ post – the second-highest ranking position in the police department – “as soon as possible,” but he declined to say exactly when the change will be made.
“We have no plans on selecting from outside the department,” Pare said.
It is unclear who is seeking to succeed Oates as deputy chief, but if Majors Thomas Verdi, David Lapatin or Francisco Colon were promoted, there would be another opening in the department’s command staff. Pare said any changes will be internal.
Oates, 60, was named Woonsocket’s police chief earlier this month. He joined the Providence Police Department in 1980, rising through the ranks to become deputy chief in 2012. He is a graduate of Bryant College and Roger Williams University.