Providence police resist the appointment of new police major

Michael Stephens and Mayor Jorge Elorza are shown in a 2015 City of Providence photo as Elorza presented Stephens with the key to the city.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence police organizations are questioning Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s judgment after hiring a civilian with no experience in law enforcement to be the city’s first-ever police major instead of considering the Black officers that applied for the position.

The Boston Globe reported that Elorza chose Michael Stephens on Friday, who has no experience in law enforcement.

Stephens was a recreation director and NCAA referee before his appointment as a police major.

The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers Chairman Charles Wilson said the mayor’s decision in appointing a civilian without experience over qualified Black law enforcement officers was demeaning.

Stephens is also Black.