Councilman Salvatore to Introduce Resolutions to Address Off-campus Housing Issues in Providence

Providence, RI (November 14, 2017) – Providence City Councilman David Salvatore,
Ward 14 will introduce two resolutions at Thursday’s City Council meeting to address
the ongoing complaints from residents about the behavior and actions of college
students living off-campus in Providences’ neighborhoods.

The first resolution is to request that the General Assembly increase the penalties
for assaulting a police officer, and to clarify the meaning of «dangerous weapon» to
include glass bottles. The second is a resolution that will establish a Special
Committee on Off-Campus Housing, Safety and Security.

«Since the beginning of the fall semester there have been at least five different
incidents involving college students throwing glass bottles at police officers,»
stated Councilman David Salvatore, Ward 14. «These brazen attacks show a total
disregard for the men and women of the Providence Police Department who work
diligently to keep the people of Providence safe. The City Council has a moral
obligation to do all in its power to protect its police officers and city residents,
and it’s my hope that these resolutions will help in achieving those goals.»

Councilman Salvatore’s resolution(s) will request that the General Assembly enact
laws increasing the penalty for assaulting an officer and establishing that a thrown
glass bottle constitutes a «dangerous weapon» under the State’s felony assault
statute. Currently when assault or batter is committed with a «dangerous weapon,» it
rises to the level of felony assault, but the law is ambiguous as to whether a
thrown glass bottle qualifies as a «dangerous weapon.» Assault on a police officer
engaged in the performance of their duty is already a felony, but the penalties are
far less severe than the penalties associated with assault or battery with a
«dangerous weapon.» These requested enhanced penalties are necessary to reflect the
serious nature of these crimes and to deter future assaults on officers.

The establishment of the Special Committee on Off-Campus Housing, Safety and
Security will study, review, and make recommendations regarding the laws, policies,
and procedures relating to off-campus student housing, as well as maintain order and
ensuring safety in Providence neighborhoods. The committee will be composed of
Councilman Salvatore as chair, Councilman Terrence Hassett, Ward 12 as vice-chair,
and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, Ward 3. The committee will issue a report with
findings and recommendations to the full City Council by May 1, 2018.