Rep. John G. Edwards and Rep. Deborah Ruggiero this evening announced in a press release that they are very pleased that the state budget bill approved by the House of Representatives today includes funding to renovate and reopen the State Police barracks in Portsmouth.

The state budget bill (2021-H 6122Aaa), which passed the House today and now goes to the Senate, includes $2 million over two years to renovate the former Portsmouth barracks, located at 838 East Main Road, which has been shuttered since 2012.

Reopening the Portsmouth barracks will mean the return of the State Police to an Aquidneck Island location for the first time in about a decade.

“For Aquidneck Island and the East Bay, reopening the Portsmouth State Police barracks will be a great public safety improvement. We have the casino in Tiverton, and the island can attract tens of thousands of visitors at a time, often at large festivals and events. On behalf of our constituents, we are very happy to support the renovation of this valuable resource, and we look forward to welcoming the State Police back to our community,” said Representative Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth, who serves as the House Floor Manager in a statement.

The plan would return 14 troopers to the barracks once the Depression-era brick building has been renovated.

“Bringing the State Police back to Aquidneck Island is important to all the island and East Bay communities. From a public safety perspective, it’s much better to have troopers available right on the island instead of needing them to come from across the bay. This plan is a very positive development that will more safely and evenly distribute the State Police around the state, and help the State Police serve all Rhode Islanders, including the islands and East Bay,” said Representative Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) in a statement.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).