While he has worked for the URI Police Department for the past 14 years, Lt. Richard Moniz has spent almost his entire life working in law enforcement.
At 14-years-old, Moniz began working in a police department as a clerk. He worked there full time until he was about 20, when he started going to college part time. After attending both Bryant College and Northeastern University, Moniz eventually graduated from Salve Regina University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
At 28, the Newport Police hired Moniz where he served for 20 years before retiring, Moniz said he “wanted to get out of Newport.” After retiring, Moniz took a job at the Boss Ice Arena as a Zamboni driver, to get out of police work.
“I worked there for about six months and I had young kids so I had to work and I figured, ‘let me apply here to the police department,’” he said. “It’s very close to my house; I have a house right around the corner from here. So I applied and was lucky to get the job.”
Moniz started off working as a patrolman and was promoted to lieutenant in 2005. As lieutenant, he is in charge of day shifts and investigations. He makes sure the officers are going to their calls as well as following up on calls, and he also goes over investigations.
Moniz just began his 34th year as a cop, and said that his career has been nice. He explained how he did a lot of drug work in Newport and still continues drug investigations here on campus. When he was younger, he worked undercover with different police departments in the state.
“I know a lot of cops throughout the whole state, if I need anything I can pick up a phone and get answers to any question I need answered,” he said. “So, that’s been the good part of it.”
While he has enjoyed his job, he said he knows he will be retiring soon.
“I love this job, I love being a cop,” he said. “But sometimes you just know when it’s time to go and now I know my time is coming soon. It’s a young person’s job.”
Moniz encourages people who are interested in policing to get into the field if they can. His advice to those wanting to become officers is that they have to stay out of trouble. If they are going to do things that aren’t legal then they do not want to get into this specific career, Moniz said.
“Your integrity means everything in this career,” he said. “This badge right here means your integrity. Â If you don’t have your integrity in this profession, then I would say don’t be a police officer, do something else for a living. It’s so important, so, so important.”