Residency requirements are obscene

“What do they know, they don’t live here!” says every supporter ever of residency requirements for police officers and firefighters.

I didn’t live within city limits when I was employed as a firefighter, but within a year I knew more about the place than most of the people who do. I knew more about the folks who live and work there than I have ever known about the people who live right next door to me. I was in their homes, their businesses, on the streets where they crashed their cars, the fields where their kids broke their bones, the schools where they learned about life and the places of worship where they learned about tolerance and love for their fellow man.

The city’s police and firefighters know the city, feel the pulse, hear the noise, taste the blood and do our best to keep ALL sections of the city safe, not just our own backyard. Just because we choose to live elsewhere does not mean we don’t understand what goes on in the city. The argument for a residency requirement for public safety personnel based on the misconception that the city’s police officers and firefighters are mercenaries who swoop into the city for forty hours a week then leave with their pockets full of  taxpayer money is absolute nonsense.

Forcing a person to live within the city limits  is not a very neighborly way to live. Using the smokescreen that police and firefighters don’t understand the needs of the citizenry to mask the true reason for residency requirements – votes and taxes is obscene.


  • gerry larrivee says:

    I thought this was a dead issue. Funny story. Many years ago Providence had something big and Cranston sent an engine. So we called back a crew to staff a reserve. One guy came from S.Kingston, one guy came from Jamestown, one guy came from Coventry, and one guy lived in Cranston. Who do you think was the last to arrive?

  • Ken Turchetti says:

    If residency is a requirement for employment, then ALL city employees should be required to live within the city limits!!!! Then there would not be enough qualified applicants and employees to serve in all capacities. This is why residency requirements were done away with in the first place!!! I guess ignorance is bliss for most but, those ignorant of history are des

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