National Association of Attorneys General
Peter F. Kilmartin was elected the 73rd attorney general of Rhode Island on Nov. 4, 2010, and re-elected in 2014.
As a native Rhode Islander, Attorney General Kilmartin grew up in the city of Pawtucket where he attended neighborhood public schools. 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, Kilmartin decided that he wanted to protect and serve the community in which he grew up. In 1984, Attorney General Kilmartin enrolled in the police academy, and for 24 years, 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, 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 further the protection of Rhode Islanders for nearly 20 years.
As a state representative, Attorney General Kilmartin helped pass laws to protect children from predators, create a witness protection program, ban texting while driving, 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 every day Rhode Islanders, Kilmartin 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 make Rhode Islanders’ safety and security his number one priority. Kilmartin has strongly advocated for longer prison sentences and stiffer penalties for those who commit crimes. 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, stiffer sentences for those who illegally possess and use firearms, as well as those who engage in gang activity.
Kilmartin has established specialized prosecution units that specialize in 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. He has been a leader in updating the state’s Internet safety laws, protecting children from online predators, and was the architect of the 2012 changes to the state’s Access to Public Records Act.
Kilmartin serves in several leadership positions with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), including liaison to the International Association of Prosecutors, chair for NAAG’s Eastern Region, co-chair for NAAG’s Consumer Protection Committee, and serves on the Criminal Law Committee, the Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial Relations Working Group, and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Kilmartin and his wife, Kristine, 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.