PAWTUCKET â€” In ceremony heavy on both family and tradition, Paul King was sworn-in on Monday afternoon as the cityâ€™s newest police chief.
The former Pawtucket Police major was pinned with his new badge by his father, retired Pawtucket Police Captain Theodore â€śTedâ€ť King as his mother, Eileen, looked on. Kingâ€™s wife, Roberta, and the coupleâ€™s five children, witnessed the special event, along with a large gathering of state and local officials and police chiefs and public safety personnel from throughout the state.
The 50-year-old King now assumes the post that was held for the past 13 years by Chief George L. Kelley III, who retired on Friday. As part of the ceremony, seven other Pawtucket Police officers who were promoted along with King were sworn-in to their new ranks. They were Major William A. Karelis, Captain Daniel P. Mullen Sr., Lieutenant Shawn D. Driscoll, Lieutenant Michael F. Cute, Sergeant David L. Holden, Sergeant Timothy M. Graham, and Detective Edward D. Berube Jr.
State Rep. and Attorney General-elect Peter F. Kilmartin served as master of ceremonies, saying it was â€śa banner day for Pawtucket.â€ť The former Pawtucket Police captain said he had served under Kingâ€™s father, Ted, and that the elder King had run the department â€świth honor, integrity, and dignityâ€ť â€“ and had instilled this in his son.
Mayor James E. Doyle called Kingâ€™s promotion â€śa very, very proud day in the cityâ€™s history.â€ť He also spoke of the father and son career link, and noted that there were several such family traditions among members of both the cityâ€™s Police and Fire Departments.
Doyle added that King, who holds a bachelorâ€™s degree in criminal justice from Bryant University and a masterâ€™s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College, had worked in most of the various departments and has the respect of the police officers from the rank and file to the upper echelon. â€śWe are effecting what is just about a seamless transition for this department,â€ť he noted. He added that the seven other officers who were being promoted were also â€śstepping up to positions they will not be strangers to.â€ť
Doyle also singled out Major Arthur Martins, who, he said, had been in a dead-heat with King â€śto the decimal pointâ€ť as far as test scores go for the chiefâ€™s job. He said the choice between the two men had been so difficult that he had left it up for them to decide, and that Martins had come to him to say he thought the job should go to King because of his years on the department. He asked the audience to give Martins a round of applause.
Saying that he was â€śspeaking from the heart,â€ť King thanked Doyle for promoting him and Kelley for leaving him a nationally accredited police department with state-of-the-art equipment and a high approval rating from city residents. He also thanked all of his friends and colleagues throughout the state who came to share in the day as well as his family. â€śEspecially my family, for all of the hockey practices and family events Iâ€™ve missed,â€ť he added.
In his invocation, Rev. Charles H. Galligan, of St. Edwardsâ€™s Church told Kingâ€™s five children that they have â€śthe best dad,â€ť and prayed that â€śthe Lord will watch over him, guide him and give him the wisdom to make good decisionsâ€ť as the cityâ€™s police chief.