The state is trying to avoid depleting the ranks of police and fire departments – and the prison – after the governor activated the R.I. National Guard last week.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Monday she has heard from city and town leaders concerned that activating the guard could make it hard for public safety officials to properly staff their police and fire departments, where personnel often serve in the armed services.
While the governor said at news conference that first responders “will not be called up,” the reality is that the guard is assessing each person on a case-by-case basis.
The news is welcome to many communities that are also dealing with staffing issues related to the coronavirus itself. In Providence, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said on Friday 10 officers were being kept home on self-quarantine.