The Providence Journal says it is saddened by the resignation of Police Chief Dean Esserman after a controversy over underage drinking at a party for his daughter at the family home. Esserman, the newspaper says in an editorial, “was tasked with cleaning up a scandal-ridden department and pushing for new community policing and other initiatives to control crime and otherwise improve the quality of life in the city.”
The Journal says he generally achieved those goals. The department's reputation for competence and honesty is much higher now than when he arrived, and Providence is a considerably safer place than many cities of its size. Esserman’s habit of occasionally walking a beat in every neighborhood to familiarize himself with very local concerns was much appreciated by many residents, and a sign of his commitment to community policing, the paper says.