PROVIDENCE - Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has announced that she will re-appoint State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell to his current role as the superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and will re-submit his name as commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety to the Rhode Island State Senate in January.
“With more than three decades in law enforcement experience, I am confident that Col. O’Donnell continues to be the best person to lead the dedicated men and women of the Rhode Island State Police,” said Raimondo in a statement. “I am grateful to have his continued leadership and service as we work together on behalf of the people of Rhode Island.”
Since 2011, O’Donnell has served as the superintendent and commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. This position includes oversight of both the Rhode Island State Police and agencies that fall under the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety. Those include E-911, Capitol Police, State Fire Marshal, Public Safety Grants Administration Office, State Sheriffs, and the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy. He also serves as the homeland security adviser to the governor.
"It will be an honor to continue serving as the superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and to be a part of Governor-elect Raimondo's team,” said O’Donnell. “I am proud of the dedication, professionalism and esprit de corps of every member of the Rhode Island State Police and Department of Public Safety, sworn, civilian and retired. This is the strongest group of leaders in the country who are committed to the safety and well-being of everyone in Rhode Island.”
In 2009, after 23 years of serving in every rank of the State Police, O’Donnell was appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. marshal for the District of Rhode Island. After 18 months, he returned to the State Police in 2011 as the superintendent under Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
O’Donnell is also involved in numerous community organizations, including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He also coaches the LaSalle Academy boys lacrosse team. He and his wife Holly have three sons.
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