No. Smithfield’s Chief Reynolds honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

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BURRILLVILLE – He’s served 46 years in law enforcement, with time in both a municipal department and the Rhode Island State Police, rising quietly through the ranks into leadership roles.

And with his retirement from his current position as head of the North Smithfield Police Department approaching in February, others in the field have stepped up to honor Chief Steven Reynolds.

Reynolds received the Burrillville Police Department’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at an annual ceremony where the that department honors both town officers, and regular citizens, along with law enforcement professionals from neighboring communities.

Burrillville Col. Stephen Lynch presented the honor.

“There are many who see Reynolds as a friend, a mentor, a confidant… myself included,” said Lynch at the ceremony, held at the Assembly Theatre.

Reynolds was born in Pawtucket and began his career with the Rhode Island State Police at the age of 20, in 1974.

“He became revered for his no-nonsense, all business approach,” said Lynch.

Lynch noted that Reynolds quickly rose to detective, and then into administration and leadership positions, serving as captain and eventually commander of the state’s detective division.

It’s a job, Lynch said, that others in law enforcement call the “hot seat,” and that requires collaboration with both local and federal agencies, including the ATA, the FBI and the state Attorney General.

“He managed all investigative cases, and Reynolds did it flawlessly,” said Lynch.

Reynolds served with the state police for 22 years before taking a role as chief in North Smithfield in 1996.

And there, the colonel said, Reynolds enacted changes that completely changed the neighboring agency.

“He took a department that was suffering from inner turmoil, and turned it into a respected, accredited agency,” said Lynch.

Over the years that followed, Reynolds made changes to the NSPD’s hiring process, and implemented new policies and procedures.

“He brought the department into the world of community policing,” said Lynch.

Reynolds announced his retirement last month after 24 years with the NSPD, and Lynch noted that the veteran officer will return to his first love: baseball. The chief has accepted a position as coach for the Lincoln High varsity team.

“Steven Reynolds will be called ‘coach’ once again,” said Lynch. “Coach Reynolds was legendary star player himself.”

The colonel noted that Reynolds’ greatest pride comes from his family including his wife, Angela, and three children; Meghan, Steven Jr. and Nicholas. He thanked the family for sharing the man who’s contributed much to law enforcement in the state over more than four decades of service.

“Thank you for all you have done for the people of Rhode Island,” Lynch said.

More coverage of the Burrillville Police Department’s annual awards ceremony can be found here.

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