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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Providence Police Department will soon undergo significant upgrades, thanks to nearly $1 million in funding.

The funding will support a complete roof replacement that will include a solar canopy, according to the city. The rest of the money will be put toward installing a new HVAC system, expanding the parking lot, creating men’s and women’s locker rooms, adding a mobile shelving system and upgrading access control.

“I am very pleased to see that the infrastructure needs of the police department are being addressed,” East Providence Police Chief Chris Francesconi said. “In addition to the roof replacement, we will be working with an architectural firm to assess the current and future needs of the building.”

The East Providence City Council voted in favor of allocating funding for the roof replacement, while the remaining upgrades will be paid for using federal COVID relief money.

This comes more than a month after the city’s dispatch center moved into its own facility, which allowed the department to repurpose some of the rooms.

The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 569, which represents the majority of East Providence’s officers, expressed concerns earlier this year that the station was in “deplorable condition.”

“Updates to the police station went unaddressed for years prior to my administration, but we have worked to change that over the last four years,” East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “Our administration has made it a priority to address the needs of all of our buildings and facilities throughout the city including the East Providence police station.”

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