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Retired Deputy Chief Brad Connor Named WPD Chief

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Maj. Brad Connor, recently promoted, was honored for achieving the rank in April 2017. At right, former WPD Chief Col. Stephen McCartney stands with former Mayor Scott Avedisian to formalize the promotion. Connor has been named the next WPD Chief by incoming Mayor Frank Picozzi.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Maj. Brad Connor, recently promoted, was honored for achieving the rank in April 2017. At right, former WPD Chief Col. Stephen McCartney stands with former Mayor Scott Avedisian to formalize the promotion. Connor has been named the next WPD Chief by incoming Mayor Frank Picozzi.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Maj. Brad Connor, recently promoted, was honored for achieving the rank in April 2017. At right, former WPD Chief Col. Stephen McCartney stands with former Mayor Scott Avedisian to formalize the promotion. Connor has been named the next WPD Chief by incoming Mayor Frank Picozzi.
WARWICK, RI — Newly inaugurated Mayor Frank Picozzi has announced the appointment of retired WPD Deputy Chief Brad Connor as chief of the Warwick Police Department, replacing retiring Warwick Police Chief Colonel Rick J. Rathbun.

The announcement came Monday morning, a day before Picozzi was sworn in.

Connor, who formerly served as WPD deputy chief, is the current Director of Security at Women & Infants Hospital. According to Care New England, Connor started as director of security on Dec. 9, 2019, and is still active in that role.

According to Mayor Picozzi’s office, Connor retired from his Deputy Chief’s role after 22 years of service. He will begin serving in his new position in mid-January.

According to Warwick’s municipal code, Sec. 60-342. – Rejoining plan upon reemployment, “If an eligible employee who was a member terminates employment and subsequently becomes an eligible employee again, he or she shall become a member again on his or her date of rehire, with creditable service determined in accordance with section 60-362.”

That part of the code requires a re-hired retiree to pay back any collected funds into the system before becoming eligible to participate in the retirement fund again.

Connor started with the WPD in 1996, according to his LinkedIn profile. He served as Deputy Chief in 2019 when former Mayor Joseph J. Solomon appointed Rathbun Chief of Police. His profile lists that position as one he’d since retired from, taking a position as Director of Security at Women & Infants Hospital.

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Connor also served as Administrative Bureau Commander, and was a prominent face of WPD leadership during high profile incidents including the peaceful resolution of an evening report of shots fired on Gordon Avenue April 22, 2017 and the WPD investigation of a father for felony neglect of his child Feb. 22, 2017.

“Brad Connor is a perfect fit for the goals of my administration,” Picozzi said Tuesday. “He has an enormous amount of respect from the community and from members of the police department.”

Current Deputy Chief Mark Ullucci will serve as interim chief until Connor takes over later this month.

Col. Rick Rathbun Retires After 25 Years

[CREDIT: WPD] WPD Col. Rick Rathbun has retired after 25 years of service with the Warwick Police Department.
[CREDIT: WPD] WPD Col. Rick Rathbun has retired after 25 years of service with the Warwick Police Department.
Rathburn’s retirement took effect Monday, Jan. 4.

According to the Warwick Police Department’s Facebook page post recognizing Rathbuns’s service, the former chief has served in the department for 25 years.

Prior to his appointment by Solomon as Chief of Police in 2019, Rathbun served as Commander of both the Operations and Administrative Bureaus, according to Warwick Police. His career included assignments in the Patrol, Community Services, Detective, and Professional Standards Divisions. He was also the Officer-in-Charge of the Crisis Negotiation Team, a component of the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team.
“Rathbun had served as a commissioner on the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission since 2011 and was appointed as the Vice Chairman in December 2018. He was also a member of their Standards Review and Interpretation Committee. He was active in the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Coalition working with those agencies seeking to obtain or maintain law enforcement accreditation in their departments, reflecting the highest standards of best practices in policing,” Warwick Police noted in their farewell to Rathbun, “We thank Colonel Rathbun for his years of service to the great City of Warwick and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

“Chief Rathbun served the department with honor and distinction and I thank him for his service to the community and wish him well in his retirements and future endeavors, “ said Picozzi.

Liz Taurasi
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Author: Liz Taurasi

Liz Taurasi is an award-winning digital media editor with more than two decades of experience in newspaper, magazine and online media industries. Liz is a proven digital media strategist who has produced content and offered editorial support for a variety of web publications, including: Fast Company, NBC Boston, Street Fight, AOL/Patch Media, IoT World Today and Design News.