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Veteran Providence Police captain to join DCYF

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A longtime Providence Police captain is joining the Department of Children, Youth and Families, a DCYF spokesperson said Tuesday.

Captain Dean Isabella will be the new assistant director of Child Protective Services, according to spokesperson Kerri White. She said he will be overseeing investigations in DCYF’s Child Protective Services unit.

“He was chosen for this position because his knowledge of and focus on safety and risk for children and youth within families and within communities will be a critical asset to the Department,” White said. “He is known for building strong partnerships with the community and for being a leader who values team building and professional development.”

White said the job has been vacant since April, when Stephanie Terry transferred to a new role as Senior Manager of Community Initiatives. Isabella’s first day is August 5.

Isabella has worked for the Providence Police since 1987, according to a spokesperson.

Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements told WPRI 12 that Isabella has been “invaluable” to the police department. He called Isabella’s new job “challenging,” and added: “I can think of no one better for the state.”

DCYF has been under fire lately after a report from the Office of the Child Advocate said the child welfare agency’s actions contributed to the death of 9-year-old Zha-Nae Rothgeb from Warwick earlier this year. (The little girl’s adoptive mother is facing charges).

The agency’s director, Trista Piccola, announced last week she would be stepping down. She is remaining on the job during the search for her replacement.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook

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