NORTH SMITHFIELD – Standing amid a crowd of family, friends and supporters, North Smithfield Police Department’s new chief said he plans to lead by example.
Chief Tim Lafferty, a former patrolman, detective, lieutenant and captain who has spent 22 years in town law enforcement, was officially sworn in by Town Administrator Gary Ezovski on Monday, March 2 .
“Since 1997, his only interest has been in law enforcement,” said Ezovski of the new chief, whose promotion was announced last week. “He knows the town of North Smithfield as a police officer, as a parent and as a resident.”
Ezovski noted that he advertised the position both within and outside of the department, and screened applicants with help of a committee of volunteers that included Elizabeth Faricy, Douglas Bennett, Joyce Dolbec, John Beauregard and Paul Baillargeon, as well as Lincoln Police Chief Brian Sullivan.
“The response to our request for applicants was great,” the administrator said.
Ezovski said that 19 people applied for the job to replace retiring Chief Steven Reynolds, including 14 with roots in North Smithfield. Eleven were granted interviews.
“We had applicants with extensive leadership experience,” he said. “We met with some impressive law enforcement leaders.”
“After it all, it was an easy and swift conclusion,” Ezovski said.
Lafferty was initially hired by Reynolds, and named captain in 1997. Prior to accepting the role as chief, he was in charge of administration and prosecution, as well as maintaining the records management system.
He received a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Roger William’s University in 1999, and studied criminal investigation at the University of Rhode Island from 2003-2004. He is certified in firearms instruction, BCIs and evidence management.
Lafferty had been recommended for the job by his predecessor, who was among a long list of supporters he expressed appreciation for Monday night.
“I want to thank Chief Reynolds, who was a mentor to me throughout my career,” Lafferty said.
The new chief also thanked his family, noting that law enforcement is a difficult and stressful profession.
“It’s more difficult and stressful on an officer’s family,” Lafferty said, pointing to missed holidays and birthdays, and phone calls in the middle of the night.
Lafferty noted that his success will be aided by a strong force including NSPD’s second in command, Capt. Stephen Riccitelli. He will oversee 26 sworn full-time officers as well as three full-time dispatchers, three part-time dispatchers, one technological person and an administrative assistant.
“As chief one of my main goals is to provide these officers with the best equipment, the best training and most importantly the best practices for success,” said the new chief.
“My philosophy is easy: do your job,” Lafferty said. “That’s our mission, that’s our statement, and that’s our philosophy.”
He said that his leadership style is to lead by example.
“I know these men and women will follow me,” he said.
Of Ezovski, he said, “I want to thank him for having the confidence in me to take on the duties of the North Smithfield Police Department.”
“To the men and women of the North Smithfield Police Department: strength and honor,” Lafferty added. “Godspeed.”