RI Deputy Sheriffs Local 2409, AFSCME Urges Administration to Hire Academy Recruits Without Delay


For Immediate Release:                       

RI Deputy Sheriffs Local 2409, RI Council 94 AFSCME Urges 

Administration to Hire Academy Recruits Without Delay

North Providence – Today, RI Deputy Sheriffs Local 2409, Rhode Island Council 94, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO issued the following statement addressing recent media coverage that Providence Police & State Police officers are patrolling the hallways of the Garrahy and Licht Courthouses.

Paul Clays, President of Local 2409, RI Deputy Sheriffs, stated, “For several years, the Deputy Sheriffs and the Judiciary have warned that the security staffing levels at the Garrahy and Licht Courthouses were dangerously low. In fact, just last year Council 94 and the Judiciary informed the House and Senate Finance Committees that the inadequate number of Deputy Sheriffs was placing members of the public and Judiciary at risk. While a Sheriff’s Academy concluded November 21, 2017, and twenty-one recruits graduated, not one new Deputy Sheriff was hired. Instead, after two shootings outside of the courthouses and a melee inside of the Garrahy Courthouse, the state has chosen to spend over $17,000 a week to have Providence Police and State Police officers patrol the courthouse hallways.”

President Clays continued, “Injured on Duty benefits should not be used as an excuse to delay the hiring of Deputy Sheriffs. Local 2409 is willing to assist in devising a solution, however we strongly oppose the administration’s approach of forcing a fix that could adversely impact Deputy Sheriffs who are injured in the performance of their duties.”

President Clays, concluded, “Too often the state has refused to hire staff until a crisis occurs. It took a riot to draw attention to the Rhode Island Training School. I urge the administration to hire additional Deputy Sheriffs immediately. It’s unconscionable that there are 21 fully trained graduates ready to start now, 12 existing vacancies, and the state refuses to hire. The state needs to stop paying other law enforcement officers overtime to do our work. Local 2409 has filed grievances to ensure the health and safety of the public, judiciary, and our members. We will pursue every avenue until enough Deputy Sheriffs are on the job. The time for the state’s benign neglect of the Sheriff’s Department is over.”

Council 94 represents over 10,000 active and retired state, municipal, and private sector employees.