Colonel Michael J. Winquist was sworn as the Department’s twenty-first Chief of Police on October 1, 2014. He is responsible for all operational and administrative functions of the Cranston Police Department.
Prior to being named Chief of the Cranston Police Department, Colonel Winquist served as a member of the Rhode Island State Police for over twenty-four years, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel/Deputy Superintendent, where he received numerous commendations and letters of recognition for exemplary police work. During his tenure with the State Police, Colonel Winquist served in nearly every Division to include the Uniform Division, Area Detectives, Narcotics Unit, Providence Police Gang Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Task Force, Fusion Center and Intelligence Unit and Motorcycle Team.
Colonel Winquist has led many investigations targeting both traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups. These investigations resulted in the arrests of numerous individuals, as well as the forfeiture of assets derived from criminal activity. In 2006, Colonel Winquist was charged with developing the State’s Fusion Center, which continues to play a vital role in protecting the State from domestic and international threats by sharing intelligence amongst Federal, State and local partners.
Colonel Winquist holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in the Administration of Justice from Roger Williams University and a Master of Science Degree in the Administration of Justice from Anna Maria University. Colonel Winquist is also a graduate of the 2012/251st session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy in Quantico, V.A.
Colonel Winquist is member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, New England Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association where he serves on the executive board as Secretary. In 2018, Colonel Winquist was appointed to the Rhode Island Police Officers Commission on Standards and Training, which establishes rules, regulations and standards for certification and training for municipal and state criminal justice personnel, maintains records of law enforcement training, and serves as a resource to municipalities and the state to improve the quality of law enforcement pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws. In 2019, Colonel Winquist was also appointed to the State 9-1-1 Advisory Committee.