Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 09-13-2017

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 NORTH PROVIDENCE SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2017 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION of the department's evidence room was his top priority when he showed up for work on his first morning Aug. 23. Following up on the inventory from Capt. Charles Davey and oth- ers, Tikoian has brought in an outside expert to help run a full audit of all information compiled from the evi- dence room. Though many of the remaining unaccounted for items are believed to have been destroyed with other evidence or returned to owners, he wants to track exactly what hap- pened to each. Prior to Tikoian's swearing in on Aug. 22, Davey said the evidence room inventory was complete and the report was to be given to Tikoian for further action. Tikoian told The Breeze he reached out to Christine Crocker, execu- tive director of the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission and member of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and began meet- ing regularly on developing best practices for the department. Jane Northup, of the Rhode Island Crime Lab, is advising local officers in the audit of the evidence room and bring- ing enhanced credibility to the process, said Tikoian. The new chief has put a number of new controls in place for the evidence rooms to ensure that issues don't crop up in the future, all part of an effort to win the department state accreditation and a better reputation. "This is going to make our depart- ment look good," he said. Only two officers, the property con- trol officer and detective commander, will have access to the evidence room unless there are special circumstances, said Tikoian. They will need to have their fingerprints authenticated to enter the room, he said. Tikoian said all the "strife" about missing evidence in the police depart- ment "may have been a blessing in disguise," as it forced police to take a closer look at policies and procedures. He said he expects to now run a semi- annual audit. He expects to have the first full audit done by the end of this month. He noted that none of the missing items are from the past two years, when better tracking practices were in effect. According to Tikoian, he's spent his first three weeks on the job mostly get- ting to know the department and the town. He's following through on his promise to be visible, showing up at various restaurants, visiting the Town Council, checking in with the Juvenile Hearing Board, visiting the town's aquatic center, and going to Municipal Court. He said he expects to go to youth sports events and other commu- nity events. "I try to go somewhere else every day," he said. Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 13 expressed apprecia- tion that he also showed up to wish them well at their charity golf tourna- ment, said Tikoian. Tikoian said he's been surprised at the response he receives around town. He said residents generally seem to have a sense of relief about the change in leadership at the department, after years of issues. "It's not only the police department, but it's affected the whole town," he said. BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY New North Providence POLICE CHIEF DAVID TIKOIAN, left, talks with Tumblesalts Cafe server DONNA FORTE last Friday during one of many visits he's making to local businesses and organizations since taking over as chief three weeks ago. EVIDENCE From Page One Continues on next page Name: Douglas Wine & Spirits Width: 7.0938 in Depth: 9.25 in Color: Black plus one Ad Number: p173532

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