After more than 30 years in law enforcement, including more than five as Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, Colonel Steven O’Donnell announced today he will retire later this month. Governor Gina M. Raimondo thanks Col. O’Donnell for his years of service and announced she will begin work immediately to appoint a new Superintendent. Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Barry will serve Acting Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police as well as the Acting Director of the Department of Public Safety while the search is underway for a permanent replacement.
“I am deeply thankful to Col. O’Donnell for his years of distinguished service to the state. He has made great sacrifices and committed his professional life to law enforcement and public safety,” said Raimondo. “Col. O’Donnell has worked tirelessly over the course of his career to build strong community and police relations, and he understands that public safety is essential to growing the state’s economy. I personally appreciate his leadership and partnership over the last two years as one of the most thoughtful and determined leaders in my Cabinet. I’m also appreciative that Lt. Col. Barry has agreed to serve as Acting Superintendent while we conduct a search for a permanent Superintendent.”
“I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to serve the people of Rhode Island and lead the State Police. Law enforcement plays a vital role in strengthening the state and I look forward to contributing to Rhode Island’s strong future in new ways,” said Col. O’Donnell. “I’m thankful for the strong partnership I’ve had with Governor Raimondo.”
Col. O’Donnell joined the Rhode Island State Police in 1986. He spent six years working undercover to infiltrate various factions of the Patriarca organized crime family. After retiring from State Police in 2009, he was appointed by President Barack Obama as the United State Marshal for the District of Rhode Island, a position he held until May 2011 when former Governor Lincoln Chafee appointed him as the 12th Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.