Carcieri names new EMA director

J. DAVID SMITH, now director of public safety at Bristol-based Roger Williams University, is a former chief of police in both Westerly and Narragansett. He moves to the EMA on April 21.
Posted 4/1/08

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Donald L. Carcieri today appointed J. David Smith, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, to be the new executive director of the R.I. Emergency Management Agency.

He replaces Robert Warren, whose employment was terminated in December by the governor and Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray, the state’s adjutant general and commanding general of the R.I. National Guard, to whom the EMA director reports. Smith is expected to start his new job on April 21.

“He possesses the credentials, experience, management skills and leadership ability to serve the people of Rhode Island well,” Carcieri said. “He is a dedicated public servant who has demonstrated his tireless commitment to the safety and security of the people of Rhode Island. Moreover, Chief Smith has already done critical work for the EMA by spearheading the development of the state-wide emergency communication infrastructure.”

Smith, who will begin his new position April 21, brings 30 years of law enforcement service to the agency. The chief of police in Westerly in 2002, when he became the Narragansett police chief, he left the Narragansett force in 2007 to become director of public safety and transportation at Roger Williams University.

A former president of the Police Chiefs Association, and a 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy, he holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Salve Regina University.

“Dave Smith has the background necessary to take charge of this agency and coordinate all the diverse elements involved,” said Bray, who has been serving as the agency’s interim director. “I am confident that his arrival will be well received and will signal a commitment to address the many challenges presented by the need for a coordinated multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction Homeland Security focus.”

“Chief Smith has been a key participant for many years in State Emergency Management initiatives and will therefore ‘hit the ground running’,” Bray added. “He is well known and respected. I look forward to working with him to ensure the preparedness of the state.”

The R.I. Emergency Management Agency is responsible for coordinating federal, state and local resources to protect the public during disasters and emergencies. It helps develop plans for disaster response, train emergency personnel and provide information to families and communities. To learn more, visit

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