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WASHINGTON – Today, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced that Colonel Hugh T. Clements Jr. has been appointed to serve as the new Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). The COPS Office is the component of the Justice Department responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.
“The Department’s COPS Office is central to our efforts to strengthen the public trust between communities and law enforcement that is essential to public safety, and I am pleased to announce that Chief Hugh Clements, a nearly 40-year veteran of the Providence Police Department, will be serving as its next Director,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “I am confident that Chief Clements’s leadership will further enable the COPS Office to continue its important work to keep our communities safe and build trust and mutual respect between police and communities, and I look forward to working alongside him. I am deeply grateful to Rob Chapman for his leadership as Acting COPS Director, his contributions to community policing, and his continued service to the Justice Department.”
Mr. Clements joins the Justice Department after nearly 40 years with the Providence Police Department in Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Clements started his distinguished public safety career as a night Patrol Officer in Providence’s Uniform Division. Over the next 17 years, he rose through the ranks, working in both the Special Investigations Bureau and the Detective Bureau, where he played active roles in several major investigations. He later served as Deputy Chief and was appointed as Acting Chief of Police in July 2011, and on Jan. 6, 2012, he was appointed as the 37th Chief of the Department and promoted to the rank of Colonel.
Mr. Clements has worked closely with major law enforcement, civil rights, and community organizations. He is the recipient of numerous commendations for outstanding police work and devotion to duty, including being recognized with the Providence Police Department Chief’s Award three times and the White House Champions of Change Award for Reducing Drug Use and Building a Healthier America.
Mr. Clements received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Roger Williams University. He holds a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Boston University. He attended many specialty schools throughout his career, including the New York State Police Williams Homicide School, the Illinois State Police Supervisor’s School, and the ATF National Gang School in California, and in 2005 he graduated from the Senior Management Institute for Police put on by the Harvard Kennedy School at Boston University.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has been appropriated more than $20 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to over 13,000 state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 136,000 officers.