By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Police officer Paul Nahrgang, 50, the new temporary school resource officer at Cole Middle School, was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2013 after video surveillance showed he had lunged at a prisoner at the EG police station and put his hands around the man’s neck. He replaces Humberto Montalban, himself arrested in July for cyber harassment.

Nahrgang’s conviction was expunged after a year for good behavior. Nahrgang, who was hired by the EGPD in 2003, returned to duty in East Greenwich in late 2013 but was demoted to the rank of patrolman after having been made a lieutenant in 2012.

Police Chief Steven Brown said the placement was temporary, depending on what happens to Montalban, who is on paid suspension (Montalban is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Oct. 8.). Brown said the contract with the police union ranks positions in terms of seniority and that Nahrgang was eligible for the SRO job. 

Supt. Victor Mercurio said he did not know about Nahrgang’s past assault conviction until Channel 10 went to him looking for information. He said the placement was up to the police chief. 

School resource officers have become an integral part of the fabric of both EGHS and Cole and they also visit the elementary schools. Nahrgang joined the EGPD in 2003. He started as a corrections officer. Nahrgang did not reply to an email seeking a comment.