Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association honors award recipients

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association presented their annual awards at a recent celebration, recognizing individuals working in law enforcement who have demonstrated excellence across a range of award categories.

“This year’s award recipients have had a significant impact on their communities and set an example for members of law enforcement in Rhode Island and beyond,” said Chief Kevin Lynch, President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and Bristol’s Chief of Police.

The Community Officer of the Year award is presented to officers who have demonstrated excellence in community policing and was presented to three officers this year:

School Resource Officer Keith Medeiros of the Bristol Police Department is a steadfast advocate of mental health resources in the Bristol Warren Regional School District and established a pioneer therapy dog program with his K9 Brody. He has a positive impact on the community by consistently demonstrating empathy and compassion in his interactions with students.

Detective James McGuire and Captain Craig Viens of the Central Falls Police Department were also recognized with The Community Officer of the Year award. The pair spearheaded the “Young Men Breaking Barriers” initiative. This program brings together professionals from diverse fields to mentor underserved teenage boys with shared interests, reinforcing the notion that they have the potential to emerge as influential leaders.

Detective of the Year Award was presented to Detective Matthew Smith of the Warwick Police Department for his exceptional work in the Detective Division’s Financial Crime Unit, as a federal Task Force Officer with Homeland Security Investigations, and as a nominated member of their Northeast Corridor Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST). His commitment to excellence sets a high standard in each role.

The Civilian Liaison of the Year Award honors an individual who has played a significant role in fostering positive relationships between law enforcement agencies and the community.
This year’s recipient, Quiana Young, serves as the principal civilian advocate of Brown University’s public safety department. Her accomplishments include helping college students navigate the criminal justice system, directing the evening “safe walk” program, and serving as the Brown public safety department’s liaison to campus mental health resources.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Sergeant William Litterio and Officer Anthony Meola of the Richmond Police Department for their impressive live-saving actions during a water rescue following a car crash in Horseshoe Falls. The pair acted in an urgent yet sound manner as they utilized a line to pull the victim from the water, offering him words of encouragement throughout the process.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in partnership with AT&T and was presented to two individuals:

The late Chief Carl A. Winquist of the East Providence Police Department received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout his distinguished career, Chief Winquist consistently demonstrated excellence in every assignment, leaving behind a legacy as an accomplished professional and tenacious investigator. He received numerous Citations and Commendations during his tenure. Chief Winquist also mentored his son and grandson to have careers in law enforcement.

The late Chief Vincent Vespia of the South Kingstown Police Department was also honored with The Lifetime Achievement Award. He had a profound effect on his profession during both his 22-year career with the State Police as well as his 35 years guiding the South Kingstown Police Department. He also held the position of president of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, where he served as a mentor and friend, offering guidance and support to both police chiefs and new law enforcement officers alike.

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association extends congratulations to all awardees honored this year and expresses gratitude to law enforcement officers across the state for their unwavering dedication.




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