Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed today’s announcement by U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland that named Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., Chief of the Providence, Rhode Island Police Department, to lead the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) as its next Director.
“We are very proud to see a former FOP National Trustee and terrific leader be recruited to serve in this critical role,” said Yoes. “We urged the President to consider him and we are deeply grateful to him and General Garland for bringing Hugh aboard to lead the COPS Office.”
Chief Clements was a long-time member of the FOP’s National Board of Trustees and served on the FOP-Rhode Island Future Planning Task Force Committee in 2012. He is a decorated officer and is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on law enforcement trends. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs since June 2018.
“Hugh has extensive experience in virtually every aspect of policing and law enforcement, a career which began in 1985 with the Providence Police Department as a patrol officer and culminated with him becoming the agency’s chief in 2012,” Yoes said. “Hugh has continued to demonstrate outstanding leadership in his department and in the community of Providence. For those who know him, it was no surprise that GoLocal Providence News named him Man of the Year in 2021.”
In recognizing him as Rhode Island’s Man of the Year, they wrote:
He met with neighborhood groups and residents, listening -- and responding. At a time when there is much criticism of policing, Clements listened and treated critics with respect.
Clements met with members of gangs and ATV leaders.
In 2021, the Chief was everywhere -- a boundless ball of energy that provided a sense of hope, decency, and normalcy to a city that needed leadership.
“I think that this speaks volumes about Hugh’s leadership, integrity, and commitment to effective policing, Yoes said. “At a time when too many agencies struggle to build trust with their communities, he has strengthened those bonds and earned the trust of many in his years as chief.”
“Hugh Clements is the kind of law enforcement leader we want others to learn from and emulate, and the kind we need to head the COPS Office,” Yoes continued. “The work of the COPS Office is vital to State and local law enforcement agencies and, by extension, to the safety of our communities. The COPS Office is the cornerstone of our national policing strategy—community oriented policing. The hiring program, its work on collaborative reform, and efforts to improve officer safety and wellness is critical, especially at this time. Hugh Clements is an outstanding choice to lead this dynamic office and I have no doubt that he will be a tremendous asset to our national effort to fight our current crime wave. We can’t wait to start working with him.”