By RORY SCHULER The Warwick Police Department celebrated the promotion of several officers during a ceremony last week at City Hall's Council Chambers. "Tonight we are proud to present these eight gentlemen, who in a short time will be given the oath of
The Warwick Police Department celebrated the promotion of several officers during a ceremony last week at City Hall’s Council Chambers.
“Tonight we are proud to present these eight gentlemen, who in a short time will be given the oath of office and be promoted,” Police Chief Bradford Connor told those in attendance. “To you they are family, friends and loved ones. To us they are family, but they are also leaders, decision-makers and mentors.”
The city’s Board of Public Safety held a meeting and approved the promotions.
“A lot will be asked of these men,” Connor said. “In the upcoming months they will learn new roles and take on additional responsibilities. Most importantly they will be given the care and custody of the men and women who serve on the Warwick Police Department.”
Each of the individuals was called up and family members pinned them with new badges.
Two of the officers were promoted to captain and three rose to the rank of lieutenant. Two became sergeants, and one reached the rank of major.
“Three of them will become command staff level personnel who will take part in the day to day decisions that will have an effect on policing in our city,” Connor said.
Maj. Mike Lima, already considered a valuable member of the department’s leadership team, will assume command of the Administrative Bureau.
He will oversee the Prosecution and Administrative Services divisions, as well as work hand in hand with the commander managing the budget and handling the all of the department’s purchasing, Connor said.
Lima, a 17-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, previously worked as a police officer in Somersworth, New Hampshire, for five years, reaching the rank of detective before moving to Rhode Island.
He has held various positions in the Patrol, Community Service, and the Professional Standards divisions. He has also served as a field training officer and a field training sergeant, and spent two years as the officer in charge of the Field Training program.
Lima served on the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team for seven years and had been the team leader for nearly four years, prior to his promotion to the rank of captain.
Lima told Connor he is extremely proud of the time he spent in the Community Services Division. He has served as a sergeant, a lieutenant and as the officer in charge of the division. Among his many accomplishments, he directed and participated in elevating the department’s social media platforms in the past year and developed community engagement initiatives that built a stronger bond between the community and the police department.
Lima most recently served as commanding officer of the Professional Standards Division where he had the opportunity to oversee internal affairs, recruitment, training and accreditation.
Lima has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of New Hampshire. His wife, Malissa, pinned the badge on her husband’s uniform. His two sons, Tyler and Ryden, attended the ceremony.
Capt. Robert T. Hart and Capt. Dan DiMaio will take on new roles in the department.
“Capts. Hart and Dimaio will each inherit one of our patrol platoons where they will put their individual mark on the shift,” Connor said. “Knowing each of them, we can anticipate there will be a lot of training, professional development and encouragement for self-initiated activity.”
Hart is a 12-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, having previously served for three years as an officer in Enfield, Connecticut. He has held positions in the Patrol Division, Traffic Unit and Administrative Services Division and is currently the officer in charge of the Prosecution Division.
He previously served as the acting officer in charge of the first and second patrol platoons.
Hart also serves as the police department’s Dive Team & Marine Unit commander. He has attended numerous schools, including traffic accident reconstruction, commercial vehicle enforcement, incident command courses and several public safety diving and marine law enforcement schools.
Hart is lead instructor in water rescue and tactical emergency medicine at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy. He is also a certified EMT and Chief of the University of Rhode Island Emergency Medical Services Department.
Hart will be assigned to the Patrol Division on second shift. His parents, Donna Hart and retired Providence Police Sgt. Robert E. Hart, pinned the promotion on their son’s uniform.
DiMaio, a 12-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, graduated from Salve Regina University, where he earned a master’s degree in administration of justice.
DiMaio previously held positions in the Professional Standards Division, Community Services Division and, most recently, the Patrol Division.
He is currently a pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor for the department, and has attended numerous schools, earning certifications as a physical fitness specialist, a taser instructor and a less lethal munitions instructor.
DiMaio has been a member of the Warwick SWAT team since 2013, and now serves as the team commander.
He was pinned by his wife, Nikki DiMaio, and their daughter Ava.
Three new lieutenants, Joe Mee, Tom DiGregorio and John Curley, will be assigned to the Patrol Division and will work side-by-side with their captains, while developing their own leadership styles, Connor said.
“Each of the lieutenants brings a unique set of skills and a wide range of expertise,” Connor said.
Mee is an 18-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department. He previously served as a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer. He has held positions in the Patrol Division, Community Services Division and Detective Division.
Mee most recently served as detective supervisor in charge of BCI, the Computer Forensic unit and the property section. He has also served as a field training officer and Police Explorer adviser and is currently the Peer Support Team administrative coordinator.
Mee has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Western Illinois University, and has completed numerous training courses throughout his police career.
Mee will be assigned to the Patrol Division as the second shift acting officer in charge and will be taking over as the field training officer in charge.
Mee was pinned by his wife of 26 years, Melissa, accompanied by their son Joe and daughter Christina.
DiGregorio, a 24-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, has held positions in the Patrol and Detective divisions.
DiGregorio has been assigned to the Detective Division for 19 years, as both an investigator and most recently in a supervisory capacity. He has long served as a member of the department's Honor Guard.
DiGregorio earned a business degree from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College, and has served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
DiGregorio will be assigned to the Patrol Division.
He was pinned by his wife, Keri, a detective in the Warwick Police Department, and his daughter Alexandra.
Curley, a 10-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, has held positions in all three platoons of the Patrol Division and Community Services Division (Traffic).
Curley has been assigned to the Traffic Division for four years, most recently as a supervisor. He also served as a field training officer for several years as a patrol officer and most recently as a field training supervisor.
Curley has spent six years training new recruits at RIMPTA as a drill instructor, physical fitness instructor and class training officer. He has served on the department’s SWAT team for nine years, and following his promotion will be taking over as team commander.
Curley earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Johnson & Wales University and is currently completing his master’s degree in homeland security administration of justice at Salve Regina University.
Curley will be assigned to the Patrol Division third shift as acting officer in charge. He was pinned by his mother Cathy, and his son John.
“Sgts. Matt Moretti and Walter Larson round out our promotions tonight,” Connor said. “Both of them are extremely well respected amongst the troops and I have high expectations that they will be excellent supervisors who will look after their officers and lead them in the right direction.”
Moretti, a 14-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department, has held positions in the Patrol and Community Policing divisions and most recently was the sex offender operations officer for the department.
For the last four years, Moretti served as a task force officer for the U.S. Marshals Service Sex Offender Investigation Bureau and the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force.
He is also a member of the Warwick Police Department’s Crisis Negotiations Team and holds the position of squad leader.
Moretti is a domestic violence/sexual assault trainer for the state, and serves as an instructor at RIMPTA. He has also served as a field training officer and drug recognition expert.
Moretti will be receiving his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Southern New Hampshire University in June.
He was pinned by his wife, Christy.
Larson is a six-year veteran of the Warwick Police Department. He previously served as a Barrington Police officer for four years.
Larson has held positions in patrol and traffic as an officer. He’s been a member of the SWAT Team and served as a field training officer for four years.
Larson has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Anselm’s College.
He was pinned by his mother, Mary Jane Larson.
During his remarks at the ceremony, Connor stressed the importance of strong leadership in the police department.
“Sixty of our 175 officers have only five years of experience or less with the majority of those men and women being assigned to the patrol division,” the chief said. “Now more than ever we require strong leadership, mentoring and supervision.”
This latest wave of promotions were a step toward filling the department’s higher ranks.
“Each of the men before you will be tasked with those responsibilities and we have the utmost confidence that they will succeed,” Connor said. “This is an exciting time not only for these men and their families but for the agency. There certainly are many challenges in law enforcement these days but when an organization can promote the right people to take on these challenges we can continue to develop the public trust, continue to provide open and transparent policing and continue to provide quality police services to the citizens of Warwick. The eight men before you have been presented with these tasks and are most certainly up to the challenge.”