Council appoints interim police chief
Town Manager Maryanne Crawford announced that Captain Peter Chabot of the Rhode Island State Police has been selected to serve as interim police chief on Block Island. The New Shoreham Town Council acted on his appointment at its meeting on Monday, June 6, affirming the decision 4 to 0. Councilor Mark Emmanuelle was not in attendance.
Chabot is a 24-year veteran of the State Police and previously worked for the Narraganset Police Department as a K-9 officer
for seven years. He is a graduate of Roger Williams University, with a Bachelor of Science degree, and also received an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Champlain
According to the Rhode Island State Police website: “[Chabot] is responsible for managing the Division’s Major Crimes Unit, Financial Crimes Unit, Special Victims Unit, Intelligence Unit, Auto Theft Unit, Adult Correctional Institution Investigative Unit, Department of Motor Vehicles Investigative Unit, Property Unit, Rhode Island Sex Offender Registration Notification Unit, Forensic Services Unit, and the Fusion Center.”
The council thanked R.I. State Police Col. Darnell Weaver for the selection of Chabot, who “will start to transition with Matt [Moynihan] for one week,” said Crawford. She is hoping to have a recommendation for a permanent chief by the end of July. A search committee is being formed that will include Crawford, at least one other town employee and a police chief from another community.
Outgoing Chief Matt Moynihan also started as an interim police chief in the spring of 2021 and took the permanent position a year ago. He will be leaving to become the police
chief in South Kingstown.
Resident David Lewis rose to ask a question. “It may be premature,” he said, then asked about the position of head of the Department of Public Works, which Moynihan also holds. “If you don’t want to answer the question now, that’s okay, too.”
First Warden André Boudreau said they would put the matter on the agenda for an upcoming meeting.
“So as the position is advertised, it’s solely for the position of chief of police?” asked resident Bill McCombe, who also served as Block Island’s Chief of Police, albeit years ago.
“Solely for chief of police,” answered Boudreau.
As the council reviewed vacancies on boards and commissions, they noted that there are now three vacancies on the Deer Task Force with Moynihan’s departure.
“What are we doing with the damn deer?” asked Councilor Martha Ball. “I’ve been going to meetings about the deer since 1978.” She noted that the state was in charge of bringing the deer over to the island, yet when they became a problem and the town wanted to do something about it, the state said “Oh no, it’s not your deer,” and “the one
time this town asks for something the state says ‘oh no, we can’t afford it.’ They should have known better, and they should take charge,” said Ball.
Two matters on the Town Council agenda were met with snafus. A public hearing was held on an amendment to the general ordinances of the town on water conservation.
With municipal water being in short supply due to capacity constraints, Water Superintendent John Breunig would like to have the ability to institute water conservation measures, including those restricting how lawns and gardens are watered and the filling of swimming pools. Others would like to have the framework in place for island-wide
restrictions on water use, should they become necessary.
Crawford said the current ordinance was written before there even was a municipal water company. (Previously it was private.) “I didn’t realize it was [still] on the books,” said Crawford.
There were no comments and the public hearing was closed, but, because the agenda only said “Public Hearing,” and did not include language to the effect of “and act upon,” no vote could be taken by the council.
That vote is rescheduled for June 15.
The delay caused a ripple effect for the Water and Sewer Commissions, which were depending on the ordinance’s removal so that new regulations could be instituted for this
summer. They were scheduled to meet the next day, and any new regulations will need to go through another public hearing, with the required three-week advertising period.
The annual renewal of game licenses was also delayed because of the agenda’s wording, which advertised the renewal of the “2019/2020 Game License Applications.”
There are six applications for 2022/2023, mostly for “table games.” But the one for a “coin operated” game at Aldo’s Bakery raised some eyebrows.
The “game” is a small carousel that appeared outside of Aldo’s last summer. It inspired some intense debates among the council members last year. Attorneys were consulted.
Council member Keith Stover said: “Remember last time – what is a game, what is a ride?”
Amusement rides are prohibited by town ordinances.