Mayor Joseph J. Solomon announced that he has appointed Police Major Rick Rathbun, a 23-veteran of the force, as the city’s Emergency Management director. Rathbun will also retain the duties associated as the officer-in-charge of the administrative bureau, Solomon said. The position has been vacant since the retirement of former Fire Chief James McLaughlin.
“I am very pleased that Major Rathbun has agreed to take on the additional responsibilities of the EMA director,” Solomon said. “His experience and specialized training make him a natural choice for this role. I have every confidence that Major Rathbun is capable of overseeing operations during any weather-related or any other emergency.”
Since joining the department in July 1995, Rathbun has attended over 50 specialized school training courses, including the RI Municipal Police Training Academy’s First Line Supervisor Training Course, the state EMA’s PPE Training for Law Enforcement, RWU’s Anti-Terrorism Training Seminar, an Introduction to the Incident Command System and an Intermediate follow-up course (IS-00100 and ICS-300, respectively), Threat and Risk Assessment and Public Information Officer courses, NIMS Communications and Information Management, and a Point of Dispensing Security Unit Leader Training Course. In addition, he took classes in Public Information in an All Hazards Incident topics, Executive Development Course in the Command Training Series, the state’s 2016 Preparedness Conference, and Advanced ICS Command and General Staff for Complex Incidents training (ICS-400).
Rathbun’s also served as a department training officer, offering instruction in patrol operations, report writing, and in field training officer operations. He was a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team from 2006 to 2015, serving as its team leader from 2009-2015.
He holds an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement from the Community College of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University (RWU). He has been awarded six-second class commendations, five third-class commendations, 20 recognitions ribbons, and an honorable service recognition. He was also honored with the American Legion Outstanding Public Service Award.