WOONSOCKET – Ronald Landry, the chief of the Millville Police Department and a former officer with the Woonsocket Police Department, is facing an inquiry by the Millville Board of Selectmen after an alleged speeding incident involving a Woonsocket officer.
According to a police report obtained by The Breeze, Landry was allegedly speeding down Sweet Avenue and Cass Avenue in Woonsocket in the early morning hours of Sept. 11 when Woonsocket Patrol Officer Logan Courtemanche pulled him over. Courtemanche wrote in his report he estimated Landry was driving at least 60 miles per hour in a 25 mile-per-hour zone.
Courtemanche said he instructed Landry to roll down his tinted windows but Landy refused to roll down the rear windows. As he approached the vehicle, Courtemanche said, he saw that Landry was wearing a reflective jacket and badge and realized he had pulled over another police officer.
“Ronald had a disgusted look on his face when he handed me his license and then proceeded to lecture me about the fact that he ‘worked for the city for 25 f---ing years.’ I had no previous knowledge as to who he was as this was my first encounter with Ronald,” Courtemanche wrote.
Landry served as an officer in the Woonsocket Police Department from 1984 to 2007, retiring at the rank of captain. He went on to serve as Millville police chief for the past 14 years.
In February of 2020, the Millville Board of Selectmen voted to discipline Landry after he was detained by Uxbridge police during an incident at a car dealership the previous month. During the incident, Landry allegedly yelled at a man he hired to transport an antique car that was damaged during transport and had to be placed in police cruiser until he calmed down.
During the Sept. 11 incident, Courtemanche wrote that he apologized to Landry after realizing he was a police officer and handed back his license without citing him. Before he had finished speaking, he said, Landry pulled the license out of his hand and accelerated away from him, almost running over his foot. Courtemanche said he then watched Landry take a left on a red light at the intersection of Cass Avenue and Cumberland Street.
Landry’s attorney, Ernest Horn, disputed Courtemanche’s version of events in a phone call with The Breeze on Tuesday. He said Landry “had no knowledge” of accelerating and almost running over the officer’s foot before he was done speaking to him.
“The first we ever heard of that was when we saw the report. If the officer was standing too close to his vehicle, sure I suppose that could happen, but we have no knowledge of that,” he said.
Horn also disputed the allegation that Landry had run a red light, saying the officer would have pulled him over again if that were true. He said Landry took a left on a green light that might have been turning yellow when he took it.
“That’s the chief’s recollection and in fairness, the officer could’ve had a different recollection. It’s all about what you see and how you see it, and we all see things a little bit differently,” he said.
Horn said Landry was not on duty at the time of the incident. He was returning from working a police detail at Gillette Stadium and was driving an unmarked police vehicle, Horn said.
Landry and Horn participated in a hearing over Zoom during a closed session of the Millville Board of Selectmen on Monday. Residents who went online for the hearing were disappointed to learn it would be in closed session after a post on the Millville Police Department Facebook page last week indicated Landry had requested the hearing take place in open session.
Horn told The Breeze Landry initially requested a public hearing but later changed his mind and requested a private one due to concerns the board would not be able to keep members of the public from interjecting over the Zoom format.
Several members of the public did so anyway on Monday, posing questions about the hearing in the comments section of the video feed before the board convened in closed session. One individual was asked by the town’s video administrator to “refrain from inappropriate comments” after posting “I hope you fire the chief” in the chat.
Jennifer Gill, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen, told The Breeze on Tuesday the ongoing inquiry was a personnel matter and the town does not comment on personnel matters. She confirmed Landry was still employed with the town.
Horn said the matter is now in the Board of Selectmen’s hands as they decide what actions, if any, to take in response to the incident. He said no specific charges have been laid out against Landry and no formal actions taken up to this point.