Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements, Jr. on Thursday said that he believes the title of the department's newly named major, who is a civilian, needs to be changed.
The statement comes days after Mayor Jorge Elorza announced that he picked his director of Parks and Recreation, Michael Stephens, to serve as the police department's community relations and diversion services major. The job title prompted criticism from City Council members -- including the council's president -- as well as the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, as Stephens has no law enforcement experience.
"My position would be that major implies a sworn officer, so as a non-sworn selection, he should be given a civilian title, like director," Clements told The Providence Journal. "It's the police position that he should be given a non-sworn title as a civilian. He's not a sworn member of the police department. Major is a rank given to a sworn officer."