NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — North Providence’s police officers’ union has issued a vote of no confidence for acting Chief Christopher Pelagio.
Ninety percent of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #13 voted no confidence in Pelagio Friday, saying they’ve been frustrated with the department’s leadership for some time.
Lt. Pelagio was appointed to his current position in Dec. 2014. The department had been without a permanent leader for three years prior, and the union said it appeared the town has made no effort to find a chief since Pelagio’s appointment.
Pelagio released the following statement to Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
It’s unfortunate that I have to receive this correspondence from the media instead of the union leadership. By going to the media first, clearly the leaders of FOP Lodge 13 show a lack of ambition to solve problems and turn this into a political agenda. I have always maintained an open door policy and continue to do so. I disagree as to the accuracy of these assertions and will respond to them at the appropriate time.”
The union said the vote is a “symbolic gesture of our members’ long-building desire for a new direction for this Department.” Members said they do not believe Pelagio is capable of leading the department in a new direction because he’s displayed a “lack of necessary leadership skills and support among the membership.”
The union cited several claims of Pelagio’s lack of leadership, such as an unwillingness to resolve grievances, address staffing deficiencies and promote positive morale within the department.