PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association and the Johnston Police Department are pleased to announce the promotion of Deputy Chief Joseph Razza to the position of Police Chief, following the retirement of longtime Chief Richard Tamburini.
Chief Tamburini officially retired from the Johnston Police Department on Aug. 31, after a 54-year career in police service.
He had served as Johnston Police Chief for the past 25 years.
He started his career as a patrol officer in 1966 with the Providence Police Department. He was later appointed to serve as a Supervising Investigator responsible for investigating major and organized crimes in the Providence Area. During his time as Supervising Investigator he assisted in the arrest of Rhode Island’s organized crime leader, Raymond L.S. Patriarca in 1980.
He served as the Providence Deputy Chief of Police from 1988 until August 1995 when he was promoted to Chief of the Johnston Police.
During his tenure, Chief Tamburini was successfully able to initiate many community-oriented plans that brought members of the Johnston Police Department closer to the public and community. One of his proudest accomplishments is having the Johnston Police Department accredited through the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Committee (RIPAC) and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
“For 54 years, it’s been my honor and privilege to wear the uniform of the Providence Police and the Johnston Police,” Chief Tamburini said. “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the officers who have traversed the ranks of these two highly professional organizations. I would also like to wish Chief Razza the best in his new role, which is one I am sure he will excel in.”
His current plans for retirement include spending time with his family and good friends. He is looking forward to taking time to rest and to eventually find a way to continue to serve the people of Rhode Island.
Deputy Chief Razza was sworn in as Chief of Police in August following Chief Tamburini’s retirement.
Chief Razza graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy in 1995. He became a patrol officer at the Jamestown Police Department in 1995 before being transferred to the Johnston Police Department to serve as a patrol officer and training officer in 1998. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in August 2017.
Throughout his career he has received six letters of commendation for excellence in policing, three department ribbons for heroism and a meritorious achievement for seizure of stolen firearms and narcotics.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an associate’s degree in business administration from Roger Williams University. He has also been accepted to the 285th FBI National Academy being held in 2021.
In his new role, Chief Razza has many plans to continue community engagement. He looks forward to continuing community-oriented programs such as Citizen’s Police Academy, National Night Out and the Explorers Program. He also is excited about growing Johnston Police Department’s social media presence to highlight the department’s officers and their work.
The new chief is also committed to transparency and working with the public and community leaders to develop crime watch programs and initiatives.
“I am extremely honored to be serving as Chief of Police and I look forward to continuing to work with the Johnston community,” Chief Razza said. “I am proud of the level of service and professionalism our department provides to the residents of Johnston. Our officers are devoted to public safety and the community they have sworn to protect and serve.”