Colonel James J. Mendonca began his law enforcement career in 1988 as a correctional officer with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, after separating from active duty with the United States Marine Corps.
In 1990, Colonel Mendonca was appointed as a patrolman with the Central Falls Police Department, steadily rising through the ranks, earning numerous awards and gaining invaluable community policing experience along the way.
In recognition of his leadership abilities, on January 10, 2013, Mayor James A. Diossa appointed Colonel Mendonca the sixteenth chief of police for the Central Falls Police Department.
Shortly thereafter, the Colonel became a recipient of the Hassenfeld Family Foundation Rhode Island Public Service Fellowship at the prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Colonel Mendonca holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in the Administration of Justice from Roger Williams University and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Excelsior College.
He is a graduate of the 256th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and of the 59th session of the Police Executive Research Forum – Senior Management Institute for Police.
Colonel Mendonca is currently the President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association and may be best known for leading the agency during the City of Central Falls’ unprecedented municipal bankruptcy to become recognized for professional excellence by the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission and by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Colonel Mendonca and his wife Jessica are the proud parents of four sons: Colby, Jason, Nicholas and Brody.