Johnston War Memorial Park played host to a patriotic police party last Thursday.
The American flag was displayed in several places during the opening of the 23rd season of the Walk with Cops program, while the national anthem was performed alongside songs like “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”
In the middle of it all were Linda Folcarelli, the first-term Town Council representative for District 1, and her sister Donna Folcarelli, who is well known for her charitable work and creativity when it comes to decorating.
When former Johnston Police community relations officer Marie Conti retired, that created a void as far as the award-winning Walk with Cops seasonal series was concerned.
So Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini called upon Linda Folcarelli to head the spring and summer sessions, and she quickly agreed and began planning for the 2019 season.
“Linda did a great job today, as she always does,” Tamburini said. “This was a great opening walk.”
The weekly walks around the park will be held, weather permitting, every Thursday beginning at 9:30 a.m.
“My message today,” Tamburini began, “is that I want the seniors to know we’re with and behind them at all times. My officers get satisfaction serving our seniors; we want them to be comfortable in a safe place and environment as well as having a good time.”
In addition to volunteers Chris and Pat Giordina, John Teolis and Tony Izzo, the Johnston Police Department was well represented last Thursday, beginning with Deputy Chief Joseph P. Razza, Maj. Matthew LeDuc, Sgt. Luca Lancellotti, Lt. Mike Babbitt and Patrolman David Slinko.
For roughly two hours, seniors enjoyed coffee, donuts and muffins served by police officials and volunteers. Teolis led the walk along with Jane Cimaglia.
Each of the walk’s participants also received T-shirts and had their choice of yellow with black lettering or royal blue with white lettering.
Dorothy Branch’s walker was decked out in red, white and blue, matching the tiny had red cap she was wearing as well as her red-and0blue bead necklace.
Walk with Cops will not be held today, July 4, but will resume on July 11.