TRUNK OR TREAT

Johnston Police Department parking lot haunted night before Halloween

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Trunk or treat!

The air was filled with Halloween spirit — and spirits — for two hours Monday night during the Johnston Police Department’s third annual Trunk or Treat event, which attracted a record crowd of costume-clad children who were accompanied by their parents and even grandparents.

Although there was a slight drizzle when the event began, spooky spirits were all over the parking lot where countless Johnston families enjoyed unmatched hospitality and a variety of terrific treats served by JPD officers and staff that included apple cider, freshly made popcorn, cupcakes and pizza, just to name a few.

“This was a great way for Johnston Police Department to react with the community under positive circumstances and provide a safe way to celebrate Halloween,” said Johnston Police Chief Mark A. Vieira.

Late Chief Joseph P. Razza, who founded the JPS’s highly popular Halloween event, left his stamp all over the evening of safe trick or treating. The late Razza enjoyed bringing residents together in special social settings that featured young and old alike celebrating Halloween.

Meanwhile, Kathy Parente, who owns and operates the unique Cartoon Characters in Cranston and was dressed as a Ninja Turtle, added: “The Chief was such a wonderful man; I’m sure he’s looking down on us smiling.”

Moreover, as Parente, who has also added fun to special JPD events like the recent third annual Faith and Blue event, with many of her well-dressed fun-loving characters, added: “I was so sad when he passed; when I first started this business, he gave me a chance and we’ve grown ever since.”

Monday’s hallowed happening also featured staff from the Way to Grow Learning Center from North Providence, who set up a balloon accented display in a van, the JPD’s new “Haunted House” as well as a colorful inflatable “Halloween Home.” Gary Salzillo of Northeast Auto Body brought his spiffy Steve McQueen Moon Car. And several canopy-covered stations were manned by JPD officers who served treats to dozens upon dozens of families.

The main “treat,” as JPD officials like Lori Anderson emphasized: “There were lots and lots of kids here tonight and they’re all having fun. That’s what really matters the most.”