Attention, Drunk Drivers: The City of Providence Welcomes You
Kudos to NBC 10 for exposing this.
Rossignol said the officer at the scene told her that no one was available to give the other driver a breath test.
“I couldn’t believe it. And I said, ‘Well, can you get someone who is certified for a Breathalyzer?’ And he said nobody is certified right now who’s on duty,” she said.
Exactly how many officers are not certified? NBC 10 did the leg work to compare.
NBC 10 uncovered the actual number of officers certified to run Breathalyzers in communities around the state.
Warwick — 119 officers are certified or 73 percent of the force
Cranston — 95 officers are certified or about 70 percent of the force
Woonsocket — 53 officers are certified or 58 percent of the force
East Providence — 42 officers are certified or about 50 percent of the force
Pawtucket — 65 officers are certified or about 40 percent of its department
In the state’s largest city, only 20 Providence officers are certified to run Breathalyzer machines. With about 477 officers, it’s about 4 percent of the force.
Four percent. In the capital city. Charming.
It should be noted that Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence (H/T this expose) has been squawking about this from the front line for years. Apparently, the city’s approach has been: no matter how stumbling drunk someone appears at an accident scene, pack ’em into the ambulance and dust your hands.
Let’s be clear that this is a failure of leadership (the mayor, the city council, the police chief), not of rank and file police officers to do their job.
Let’s also be clear, on a more pragmatic level, that the solution is not more money for additional f.t.e.’s – it’s getting more members of the existing force properly trained and certified.
The more I think about this, the more egregious it strikes me. Our capital city essentially has zero enforcement of d.u.i. Could this be a deliberate policy to further some terribly misguided goal, like encouraging the restaurant and night life business in the city? Nothing worse than a d.u.i. citation to dampen the enthusiasm of a potential repeat customer!