NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (The Valley Breeze)—North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi has chosen retired Rhode Island State Police Major David Tikoian as the town’s new police chief. Tikoian replaces embattled Acting Chief Chris Pelagio, who is currently out on suspension.
Tikoian, a Greenville resident who works as manager of transmission and distribution for the Providence Water Supply Board, comes to North Providence “with a wealth of experience in law enforcement,” said Lombardi in a statement.
“His background, knowledge, and experience are the perfect fit for our department and its challenges,” he said.
Lombardi said, “It’s no secret that our police department has experienced a few bumps in the road during the past 18 months or so, but now the time has come for us to turn the page and move on.”
“It is time a new leader has the opportunity to make the North Providence Police Department the best in the state,” he said.
As public safety director, said Lombardi, “I cannot stand by and allow a few malcontents and disgruntled officers (to) stand in the way of a department with such great potential. My goal is to have one of the most professional and respected police departments in the state of Rhode Island.”
Just as the town’s fire department had some problems a few years back, said Lombardi, and is now the only Class 1 department in the state, he expects Tikoian to take the police department to the same place.
“Our residents deserve nothing less,” he said. “I ask all the men and women of our police department for their full cooperation.”
The mayor warned anyone who wants to stand in the way of the department achieving its full potential to “lead (with me), follow, or get out of the way.”
Tikoian has been hailed for his integrity. In 2015, shortly after his retirement, he found $4,000 in a binder in the middle of Smith Street in Providence and tracked down its owner to return it.
Tikoian served 23 years with the State Police before his retirement in May 2015. As chief administrative officer, he was responsible for a $97 million budget and managed a human resource office overseeing more than 600 employees, among other duties.
During his career, he served at all five barracks as a member of the Uniform Bureau, the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy, detail leader of the Governor’s Executive Security Unit, night executive officer, and weekend officer in charge of the division. Prior to his promotion as major, he was captain of the inspectional service, responsible for evaluating the operations of the agency.
The new chief is a graduate of Smithfield public schools and graduated cum laude from Bryant University in 1990. He was inducted into the Smithfield High School Hall of Fame last year.
An antique car enthusiast, Tikoian is active in his home community of Smithfield.
Tikoian will be formally sworn in on Aug. 21, at 6 p.m., in the North Providence High School auditorium.