NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two Rhode Islanders with military training and experience were hired to join the North Smithfield Police Department this month, chosen from a pool of some 55 applicants.

“That’s a low number compared to what we usually get,” noted Capt. Stephen Riccitelli.

The recruits were chosen through a lengthy process that began with a detailed application last year, and included an agility assessment, a written exam, a background examination, and medical and psychological examinations, along with two oral interviews.

“We have a pretty rigorous selection process,” Riccitelli said.

Would-be officers must pass each step in the selection process to move on to next, the captain explained.

The selections, new hires who must now graduate from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy before they become sworn officers, were announced  this week.

Recruit Cliff Huynh, a New York native, is 24-years-old, and served in the U.S. Navy for six years. Huynh reportedly earned several awards and certificates during his time in the Navy, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant.

Huynh currently resides in North Providence with his wife.

Recruit Ryan Legare is also 24 years old, and currently serves as an active member in the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

A Cumberland High School graduate who studied at Rhode Island College, Legare currently resides in Cumberland.

Applicants are trained at the Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln over a roughly 20 week period. Upon appointment as a sworn officer, North Smithfield’s recruits begin the next phase: a 9 to 12 week Field Training Officer Program, followed by a 12 month probationary period.

Officer salaries are between $1,051 and $1,099 per week during the probationary period and $1,224 per week after their first year.

With the two new hires, the department now has 26 staff members, with units including uniform patrol, investigative services, traffic enforcement, crime scene investigations, accident reconstruction and prosecution.

Chief Tim Lafferty and Capt. Stephen Riccitelli welcomed the new recruits.
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