URI Police Department hires two veteran officers

North Providence, Newport residents bring decades of experience and leadership skills to sergeant posts

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Paul Ricci, left, and Russell Hayes were recently hired as sergeants for the URIPD.
Photo by: Michael Salerno

KINGSTON, R.I. – August 10, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island Police Department has hired two decorated officers with a combined five decades of experience to fill sergeant posts on campus police force.

Paul Ricci, of North Providence, and Russell Hayes, of Newport, both of whom have more than 25 years at various departments around the state, joined the URI Police Department in May.

“Getting two individuals with the leadership experience that they possess will make a very positive addition to the department, particularly in supervising our newest officers working the night shifts,” said Stephen Baker, director of Public Safety and chief of the URI Police Department. “I am extremely happy to have these two officers join the police department and I am sure that they will both be involved in our community policing efforts.”

Maj. Michael Jagoda, of the URI Police Department said the duo will strengthen the campus police department’s relationship with the surrounding community.

“The URI Police Department is fortunate to have such high-caliber law enforcement leaders join the ranks,” he said. They both have distinguished themselves in all phases of police work and are highly respected throughout the law enforcement community. Their experience in working in diverse communities in Rhode Island will strengthen our partnership with our community members. I look forward to working with sergeants Ricci and Hayes and using their extensive experiences and practical skills to help serve our community more efficiently and effectively.”

Ricci, who joined the North Providence Department in 1992, spent five years as a captain and a year as Deputy Chief of the department before joining URI as a senior information technologist for all divisions of public safety in February 2013.

In his previous role at URI, Ricci managed the technology and information systems for the Police Department, Emergency Management, Fire and Life Safety, Environmental and Health Safety and the director’s office, and he served as supervisor of the Public Safety Emergency Communications Center.

Ricci also served as assistant terminal agency coordinator for the URI Police Department’s National Crime Information Center terminal access and he trained public safety personnel in the proper use of departmental systems such as the all-campus alert system, the security camera system and the emergency notification system.

Ricci led the overhaul of the alert system, including the development of a University-wide policy for its use, and he secured a grant that allowed the school to purchase and install E-Citation mobile data terminals to streamline the ticketing process.

He also led efforts to replace and upgrade the entire public safety security camera system, and instituted a University-wide policy for its use. In addition, Ricci chaired the committee that upgraded the campus emergency notification system.

“Sgt. Ricci has the technological expertise that will be utilized as we continue to upgrade our technology systems,” Baker said. “He will continue to help us out with IT issues while he assists us in conducting our search for a lead information technologist for the Department of Public Safety. “

Ricci has an extensive background in police leadership and administration. He served as an administrative commander in the North Providence Police Department and was second in command as Deputy Chief during his final year with the department.

Ricci earned a master of arts degree in education from URI in May, and previously earned a bachelor of science in the administration of justice from Roger Williams University in 2004.

Hayes, a Newport resident with a master of science in administration of justice from Salve Regina University and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Roger Williams, has 29 years of experience as a law enforcement officer. He spent the last five years as captain in the Newport Police Department.

While there, he reported directly to the chief of police and supervised three lieutenants, one sergeant and 12 investigators. As a senior member of the executive staff, Hayes worked on the department’s budget, evaluated current staffing needs and projected future needs, and he took an analytical approach to reviewing crime statistics to establish police response to crimes.

Hayes engaged in planning for large-scale, world-class events such as the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, America’s Cup trials, Tall Ships and the LPGA U.S. Open.

Hayes worked diligently during his 24-year tenure in Newport to promote community policing. He served as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer, working with schoolchildren to teach them the dangers of drug/alcohol abuse, and he operated programs to provide memberships to the Boys & Girls Club, the After School Homework Project, Citizen’s Police Academy, Women’s Self-Defense classes, and others.

“Sgt. Hayes also brings experience as a domestic violence and sexual assault investigations trainer and that will be very helpful, along with his experience overseeing major investigations,” Baker said.