Chief Sheriff David M. DeCesare

Chief Sheriff DeCesare

David M. DeCesare was sworn-in as Chief Sheriff of the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs on March 8, 2013. He is responsible for the daily operation, policy implementation and direction of the Sheriffs, to include the custody, safety, discipline, and well-being of prisoners and defendants in state courts and other buildings.

Chief DeCesare served in many capacities over his career, to include the Emergency Management Director for the Town of Johnston and Interim Director of the Johnston Fire Department while it was transitioning to a new leadership. Prior to his current appointment, he served 24 years on the Johnston Rhode Island Police Department, retiring with the rank of Deputy Chief.

Chief DeCesare holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University and is a graduate of the 241st session of the FBI National Academy. He is a recipient of the Johnston Police Department’s Medal of Valor and the Rhode Island American Legion’s Medal of Valor.


It is the mission of the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs to provide the highest level of services to the Rhode Island Judiciary and Rhode Island Criminal Justice System while maintaining the greatest degree of integrity, impartiality, and confidentiality; to treat all individuals with the utmost respect, dignity, and fairness; to work with the Department of Corrections and all law enforcement agencies in a spirit of cooperation; to protect and provide security for all who enter the Rhode Island Courts while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and decorum.


The Division of Sheriffs is responsible for all statewide activities assigned by law which relate to the duties and functions of the sheriffs of the several counties and state marshals. Among its other responsibilities, the Division is also responsible for courtroom security and cellblocks in all state courthouses, training of personnel, transportation of individuals charged with crimes, and special operations.

Members of the Division of Sheriffs have the following powers and duties:

  • To provide and maintain security for judges at all state courts;
  • To provide and maintain security in all courtrooms and other public areas within state courthouses;
  • To provide and maintain security in the cellblocks in all state courts, and exercise all powers as required and prescribed in all other provisions of the general laws and public laws relating to the powers and duties of sheriffs.
  • To be responsible for transportation statewide of prisoners to and from police departments, the adult correctional institutions, all courthouses, and other places of detention;
  • To transport persons arrested by state and local police departments to places of detention; provided, however, nothing in this subsection shall prevent state and local police departments from transporting those persons;
  • To supervise the conduct of and maintain order and discipline of the prisoners in their custody;
  • To be responsible for the custody and safety of prisoners while being transported to and from court sessions, places of detention, and outside hospitals prior to commitment to the adult correctional institutions;
  • To be responsible for the custody and security of prisoners detained in the cellblock areas in the Kent County courthouse and Providence County superior courthouse and for the security of these prisoners during the hearing of their cases, and while in outside hospitals prior to commitment to the adult correctional institutions;
  • To be responsible for the safety and welfare of prisoners in their custody;
  • To provide all security in connection with transportation in the execution of extraditions, including, but not limited to, warrants, IAD (Interstate Agreement on Detainers), arrest affidavits, interstate compact extradition, and criminal detainers; and
  • To carry firearms as prescribed.