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Peter Kilmartin was elected the 73rd Attorney General of Rhode Island on November 4, 2010. His promise to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of our communities and families and restoring the public trust in state government resonated with the people of Rhode Island.
A native Rhode Islander, Peter grew up in the city of Pawtucket where he attended the same neighborhood public schools his father Frank taught at. His mother and father taught him, as well as his three brothers, the importance of honesty, community and hard work at an early age.
After graduating from Tolman High School, Peter decided that he wanted to protect and serve the community in which he grew up. In 1984, Peter enrolled in the police academy, For 24 years, Peter served his community as a member of the Pawtucket Police Department, starting as an officer on patrol, working his way up to becoming the officer in charge of prosecutions and retiring as a Captain.
Kilmartin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Roger Williams University, and later earned his Juris Doctorate at Roger Williams University School of Law.
As a police officer, Peter Kilmartin knew that he didn’t just want to protect the public, he wanted to be their advocate. He decided to run for state representative, and at the State House he fought to protect Rhode Islanders for nearly 20 years.
As a state representative, Peter helped pass laws that protect children from predators, created a witness protection program, ban texting while driving, keep alcohol out of cars, put an end to pension abuses, strengthen domestic violence penalties and force health insurance companies to cover reconstructive surgery for women following breast cancer mastectomies.
Recognizing his devotion to fighting for the protection of everyday Rhode Islanders, Peter has received numerous public service awards from a wide array of groups, including: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), After-School Alliance Plus, Justice Assistance, the Boys and Girls Club, Gateway Health Care and the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.
Since being elected Attorney General, Kilmartin has continued to put Rhode Islanders’ safety and security as his number one priority. Peter has strongly advocated for longer prison sentences and stiffer penalties for criminals. He successfully changed the state’s “Good Time” law, prohibiting those who commit heinous crimes against children to earn time off for good behavior while incarcerated. He has advocated for stronger and stiffer sentences for people who illegally possess and use firearms, as well as those who engage in gang activity.
Kilmartin has established specialized prosecution units that focus on specific crimes and victims, including a Veteran’s Court with the goal of successfully rehabilitating veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them the tools they will need to lead a productive, law-abiding life. In addition, Kilmartin established a Child Abuse Unit, led by prosecutors, victim advocates and support staff, all trained to handle the emotional and psychological effects associated with physical and sexual abuse of children.
Peter led the way to bring greater transparency to government, which led to the first major update to the state’s Access to Public Records Act in more than 15 years. In addition, Peter has filed multiple lawsuits against public bodies for violating the state’s public access laws.
Kilmartin serves in several leadership positions with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), including liaison to the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), vice-chair for the Eastern Region, co-chair for NAAG’s Criminal Law Committee and serves on the Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial Relations Working Group and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Peter’s leadership role with NAAG led to the IAP hosting its North American and Caribbean conference in Providence, where top law enforcement officials discussed strategies to combat human trafficking, intellectual property theft, cybercrime, and weapons and drug trafficking.
Peter and his wife Kristine have been married for 15 years and are actively involved in the community. Together, they founded the Pawtucket Arts Festival in 1999, which draws thousands of people from all across Southern New England to Pawtucket every year, serving as an economic and cultural boon to the Rhode Island economy.