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East Greenwich Welcomes New Officer to the Force

Probationary Patrolman Thomas R. Cole III was sworn in on Monday as East Greenwich's newest member of the police force.

From left, Police Chief Col. Stephen J. Brown, Probationary Patrolman Thomas R. Cole III, and Town Manager Thomas E. Coyle III. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
From left, Police Chief Col. Stephen J. Brown, Probationary Patrolman Thomas R. Cole III, and Town Manager Thomas E. Coyle III. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
East Greenwich is welcoming its newest police officer, Thomas R. Cole III, to the ranks.

Cole was sworn in at a brief ceremony at Monday night's Town Council meeting. He stood proudly at the front of the room as his girlfriend pinned a shiny new badge to his crisp new uniform.

Police Chief Col. Stephen J. Brown said in remarks before the swearing-in that Cole followed a remarkably solid trajectory into his law enforcement career.

A look at this resume is a case study in how to do it right.

Cole graduated from Toll Gate High School in 2006. Over his four-year career, he was a varsity basketball and baseball player, becoming captain of the baseball team in his senior year.

He went on to the University of Rhode Island for his bachelor's degree and then received a criminal justice degree from the Community College of Rhode Island.

One of his early jobs out of college was to work at a group home for Rhode Island-based Perspectives, Corp., which serves special needs clients of all ages and degrees of need. He worked as a direct support staff member  engaged with clients and soon rose the ranks to become an assistant manager.

In 2012, he was hired by the state Department of Corrections and became a corrections officer after graduating from the Rhode Island Police Training Academy in April of 2012. He was appointed to the maximum security unit in 2014, which is around when he applied to become an East Greenwich police officer.

Cole completed his academy training in May and is now assigned to the department's field training staff where he'll learn the ropes and work closely with the department's experienced field training officers for the next few months.

After the ceremony, Town Manager Thomas E. Coyle III slipped out from the council Dias to pose with pictures with the new recruit and the police chief. 

As the former police chief of the town, there's no doubt that Coyle takes a particular interest in the happenings in his former department and he looked like a proud father as he stood for the photos. 

It's hard not to notice the odd similarity between the town manager and Cole's names. Though Coyle has an extra "Y", they both are Thomas the III. 

"It's weird, isn't it?" Coyle said as he made his way back to council chambers.

Cole reports for duty on Monday. 

Congrats and welcome aboard, officer!

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