NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Providence Police Department has been recognized for its community policing efforts.

The New England Association of Chiefs of Police on Tuesday presented the department with its award as Community Policing Department of the Year.

The Providence Journal reports the award comes despite staffing cuts that have led to a decrease in the number of community policing zones and an increase in the size of each zone. The department has about 100 fewer officers than it did when it launched its community policing initiative in 2003.

Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr. told those gathered for the award ceremony that the city remains committed to community policing. He said the city hopes to fill some of its vacancies once a new police academy class graduates this fall.