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 renowned Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and of the 59th session of the much revered Police Executive Research Forum – Senior Management Institute for Police.
Colonel Mendonca is currently the Vice-President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and led his agency to become recognized for professional excellence by the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission, receiving an initial award on September 14, 2015. Additionally, the Central Falls Police Department is expected to receive national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies on July 29, 2017.
Colonel Mendonca and his wife Jessica are the proud parents of four sons: Colby, Jason, Nicholas and Brody.