NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” After graduating from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy last month, three new recruits have joined the North Smithfield Police Department.
Chief Steven E. Reynolds said the officers were sworn in immediately after graduating by Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton and will be assigned to a field training officer.
Theyâ€™ll spend 14 weeks with their professional mentors prior to patrolling the streets on their own.
The new officers are:
â€˘ Timothy Lipka, 23, of North Providence. He is a 2012 graduate of the University of Rhode Island where he received a bachelorâ€™s degree in criminology and political science.
â€˘ Benjamin Freeman, 23, of Smithfield. He served in the Air Force as a combat controller and is currently working toward a bachelorâ€™s degree at Rhode Island College.
â€˘ Steven Donovan, 22, of Warwick. A 2012 graduate of Rhode Island College, Donovan earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in sociology and justice studies.
The new recruits restore some of the troop strength that was lost due to retirements and other attrition recently, but they donâ€™t quite bring the department up to maximum manpower.
Including the newcomers, the police force employs 22 full-time officers, but two remaining openings must be filled for it to reach full strength, officials say.
To fill those slots, the department is planning to send two more recruits to the next session of the police academy. The new session starts July 7 and lasts about three months.
The NSPD became a full-time police force in 1934 and has had five police chiefs since its inception, including Reynolds, a former state trooper. In addition to sworn police officers, the department also has seven civilian employees.