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Dean Esserman to be thanked for his work as Providence police chief

October 12, 2011

Former Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman, who abruptly left his job in June after a sometimes stormy eight-plus years, will be the subject of an event Thursday evening to thank him for his work.

The event — billed as a community celebration — is set for the Davey Lopes Recreation Center on Dudley Street, from 5-7 pm.

Critics questioned Esserman’s leadership style, and he was briefly suspended this year after threatening to throw coffee in the face of another officer.

Supporters like Teny Gross, who is helping organize the event to thank Esserman, credit him with improving the Providence Police Department (which had a lot of bad road before Esserman’s arrival). “He pushed the envelope on a lot of fronts,” Gross says, “and made policing in Providence something that people nationally noticed and tried to emulate.”

Gross says the event is being sponsored by members of a civilian advisory board to the police department and that US Representative David Cicilline is among those expected to attend. It’s on for 5-7 pm.

Asked about Esserman’s future plans, Gross says he didn’t want to speculate, but would be surprised if the former chief didn’t land a chief’s job in another city. (Esserman didn’t return a recent call.)

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