By PETE FONTAINE
There were many special success stories surrounding the recent Johnston Police Service National Night held inside Johnston War Memorial Park.
“It was definitely vintage JPD,” many people offered during what many from the elderly to Johnston locals noted could also have been called “a community barbecue of enormous proportions.”
To which Johnston Police Chief Joseph P. Razza said, “Our National Night was a tremendous success, led by Capt. Mike Babbitt and Officer Charles ‘Chuck’ Psilopoulos who did an excellent job of d organization of the event.
Do this “additional special event” where Governor Daniel J. McKee made a special appearance and congratulated Razza and the JPD.
The event ended with hot dogs and burgers cooked by some of Johnston’s best – Lou Cotoia, Mike Andreozzi and Luca Lancellotti.
“We are proud of this year’s National Night Out (NNO),” Razza said of the annual affair which aims to bring local police departments closer to neighborhoods in the community. “There was face painting for kids as well as balloon animals to suit every child’s needs.”
Surprise visits by Costume Creations Characters of Cranston, who have teamed up with the JPD for other major community events, such as the recent and well-attended “Pizza with the Police”, have perhaps drawn the most attention. during the four-hour event.
Johnston’s Night Out also featured a lumberjack-like character and a beautifully dressed butterfly stilt walker who captured the hearts of young and old alike.
Thus, the JPD’s NNO was again a smash hit and embodies the philosophy of the National Night Out which reads, in part; “Together, we make communities safer and more welcoming. Similarly, NNO is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships.
And as many people told Razza, Deputy Chief Mark Vieira and Senior JPD Command Staff Officer: “NO local PD (police department) does it better than the one here in Johnston. They certainly put their best feet forward tonight.