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Press Release

U.S. Attorney, COPS Program Honor Rhode Island Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – More than forty local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and agents were honored today by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for their investigative work on several large-scale, highly impactful criminal and civil cases charged and prosecuted in federal court in Providence.

Agents from six federal and thirteen local and state law enforcement agencies were honored for their extraordinary efforts, resulting in successful prosecutions and convictions in virtually every area of federal enforcement, from gang and gun violence, drug trafficking, and those who prey on minors, to white collar financial offenses and health care fraud schemes involving fraudulent billing and accepting kickbacks in exchange for prescribing highly addictive opioid drugs.

In recognizing forty-five law enforcement officers and agents at today’s ceremony, United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman told the honorees, “Our office cannot do its job without the dedication, commitment, energy, and grit that each and every member of law enforcement brings to their profession day in and day out. And for that, we owe each and every member of law enforcement our gratitude and our thanks.”

Additionally, at today’s United States Attorney’s Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony, the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program presented Rhode Island a certificate signifying the law enforcement community’s commitment to protecting the safety and lives of all law enforcement across the state, by establishing a Blue Alert Plan.

The certificate, presented to Rhode Island State Police Colonel and Rhode Island Public Safety Commissioner James Manni, acknowledges Rhode Island’s participation in the National Blue Alert Network, along with 34 other states.

Blue alerts provide for rapid dissemination of information to law enforcement, the media, and the public about violent offenders who have killed, seriously injured, or pose an imminent threat to law enforcement. Blue Alerts can also be used to help locate a member of law enforcement missing in connection with official duties.

“There could scarcely be a more worthwhile endeavor than protecting Rhode Island law enforcement from violent criminals who have done or would do serious harm to them. In joining 34 other states in providing for the rapid dissemination of information to law-enforcement agencies, media, and the public about violent offenders who have killed, seriously injured, or pose an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement, Rhode Island continues to demonstrate its commitment to the vital mission served by our law enforcers,” said US Attorney Aaron L. Weisman.

"As a law enforcement executive with over 50 years of experience in this noble profession, it’s an honor and a privilege to administer the National Blue Alert Network,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith.  “Violent attacks on law enforcement officers constitute an assault on the American way of life and erode the actual and perceived safety of affected communities and our nation as a whole. The COPS Office and the entire Department of Justice applaud the state of Rhode Island for their commitment to law enforcement by affording this vital tool to its law enforcement officers and communities they serve.”

There are currently 35 states with Blue Alert plans. The COPS Office provides resources and technical assistance to states, territories, law enforcement agencies, and tribes seeking to establish or enhance Blue Alert plans; including, voluntary activation guidelines, examples of legislation, policies, and forms gathered from around the nation in a central Blue Alert data repository.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit




Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated January 23, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-10