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Police monitoring of sex offender's home cost nearly $103,000

Providence Journal logo Providence Journal 2/22/2019 By Madeleine List, Providence Journal
a group of people standing in front of a house: Citizens protest in October outside the New York Avenue home of Richard Gardner. Because of the neighborhood uproar over the sex offender's presence, Providence police began an around-the-clock monitoring of the house. [The Providence Journal / Bob Breidenbach] © The Providence Journal / Bob Bre/Providence Journal/TNS Citizens protest in October outside the New York Avenue home of Richard Gardner. Because of the neighborhood uproar over the sex offender's presence, Providence police began an around-the-clock monitoring of the house. [The Providence Journal / Bob Breidenbach]

PROVIDENCE 2019--PROVIDENCE -- The city's Public Safety Department spent a total of $102,812 on police details to monitor the home of a registered sex offender who moved into Washington Park last fall.

Police began monitoring the home of Richard Gardner on Oct. 17 after his move to the neighborhood sparked outrage among residents.

A two-person police detail was stationed outside the home around-the-clock until Gardner was arrested on Nov. 2 on charges of misrepresenting his address on an application for a marriage license.

The detail resumed after Gardner was released on Nov. 19 following the dismissal of the charges. That time, the detail consisted of only one detective, who was stationed outside the home between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

That detail ended on Feb. 15. Someone threw a piece of concrete through a window of Gardner's home on the night of Feb. 16.

Providence police Maj. David Lapatin said authorities decided to stop the detail for a number of reasons. Police felt that neighbors, who initially staged nightly protests outside Gardner's residence, had begun to adjust to Gardner's presence in the neighborhood. The detail also put a stress on the department's manpower, he said. The cost was one of the factors, but not the deciding factor, he said.

Officers continue to pay special attention to the area, he said.

"We weren't there just to protect him, we were there to protect the community, we were there to make sure there were no problems within the community," he said. "It was a whole melting pot of things, of reasons why we were there. Now... we decided that it's time for us to leave there and just keep an eye on things."

-- mlist@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7121

On Twitter: @madeleine_list

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