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Roger Williams University Appoints Steven Melaragno as Director of Public Safety

New director arrives at University after 33 years with Providence Police

Roger Williams University has named Steven Melaragno, longtime member of the Providence Police Department and Class of 1990 graduate of Roger Williams, its new director of public safety, effective Jan. 18, 2012.

The Greenville, R.I., resident is due to retire from the Providence Police Department this week, following 33 years of service spanning a variety of law enforcement roles and responsibilities.

“Major Melaragno brings extensive experience in community policing, outreach, mediation, management and crime prevention to his new role at Roger Williams and values the importance of maintaining a strong working relationship with the Bristol Police Department,” says John J. King, the University’s vice president for student affairs and chair of the position’s search committee.

“The search committee was impressed with the breadth and depth of his career in Providence as well as his ability to articulate how he would transfer his experiences and skills to the public safety team on a residential campus such as ours in Bristol.”

Melaragno comes to Roger Williams with a successful record of achievement as a law enforcement officer and executive. Since 2008, he has served as major and commanding officer of administration for the Providence Police, where he began his career in 1978 and advanced to detective in 1984, sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 2001, captain in 2004 and major in 2008.

“I’ve spent 33 years as a city police officer, the last nine with a community policing focus,” Melaragno says. “Many of my skills and lessons learned on the job are directly transferable to the campus community at Roger Williams. I look forward to helping the University remain a safe place to live and to go to school.”

Melaragno earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams in 1990, following earlier studies at Northeastern University. Among a variety of professional development experiences, he completed Harvard University’s Senior Management Institute for Police in 2005.

During his tenure in Providence, Melaragno received multiple commendations, including the Larry Gaynor Memorial Award for Community Service from the United States Attorney in 2000. He also serves as a volunteer board member of the Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island, which focuses on non-violent conflict resolution.

After more than three decades of service, Melaragno likens his departure from the Providence Police to going off to college for the first time. “It’s like leaving a family,” he says. “Leaving everything you know and setting off on a new adventure.”

High-resolution photograph is available here.