Safety, Justice & Healing

A life of service to the community


PROVIDENCE — Karen Pinch has had a long career serving others. The mother of two children — a daughter (19), and a son (22) — she spent 23 years with the Rhode Island State Police, rising from State Trooper to Lieutenant Colonel. Pinch now serves as the town administrator of Richmond.

Pinch recently joined the Diocese of Providence’s Advisory Board for the Protection of Children and Young People as one of three new members. The Child Protection Board was established in 2002 in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People approved by the Bishops of the United States. It reflects the diocese’s quarter century commitment to safety, justice and healing. The board’s role is to advise the diocese in efforts to help victims of sexual abuse, by reviewing diocesan policy and assessing the effectiveness of victim assistance, among other tasks.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve as an advisor to the Bishop,” Pinch said. “I will do all I can to ensure and enhance child protection and transparency in the Diocese of Providence.”

Pinch’s long career in law enforcement and commitment to her community makes her well suited to serve on this Board.

Pinch, 52, now retired from the R.I. State Police, decided to continue serving her community in a new role, as the town administrator in Richmond, which she began in 2015. Her self-described “second career” now allows her to continue the important work of helping those in the local community in a new capacity.

Pinch hopes her work with the diocese will expand her reach to help sectors of the community she has not worked with in her career in public service. This work will include drafting and reviewing procedures to prevent abuse, while also creating training programs for clergy, staff and educators who interact with children in the church, Catholic schools and other Diocesan programs.

In addition to Pinch, the diocese has also added Rhode Island District Court Judge Stephen Isherwood and Bishop Jeffrey A. Williams, the pastor of Kings Cathedral in Providence, to the Child Protection Board. They join other members, including former Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts II; Caryl Frink of the Episcopal Diocese of R.I.; retired Rhode Island State Police Major and former Director of Campus Safety and Security at Johnson & Wales University Michael Quinn; and Father John Unsworth, pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Wickford, on the board.