Johnston Police Headquarters will be renamed the 'Richard S. Tamburini Public Safety Complex'

The town will unveil a monument to the retired chief during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 11


The man gave 25 years of his life to ensuring the public safety of Johnston’s residents.

On Saturday, the town will name its police station in his honor.

“The dedication this Saturday is the initiative of Council Vice President Joseph Polisena Jr.,” Johnston Police Chief Joseph P. Razza said Tuesday. “When the councilman learned of Chief Tamburini’s pending retirement in early 2020, he proposed a resolution before the Johnston Town Council to rename the Johnston Police Headquarters as the Richard S. Tamburini Public Safety Complex.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

“The dedication of the police headquarters will honor Chief Tamburini’s 25 years of dedicated service to the Town of Johnston,” Razza said. “Councilman Polisena’s initiative is a noble touch in order to commemorate and memorialize the 25 years that Chief Tamburini served as chief of police, but in a way, it also acknowledges the 54 years he dedicated to law enforcement and public safety.”

Johnston Town Council Vice President Joseph Polisena Jr. said that the town owes Tamburini a debt of gratitude.

“I thought this would be a great way for the town to show its appreciation for Chief Tamburini’s 25 years of service,” Polisena Jr. said. “He’s been an instrumental figure in keeping our residents safe and implementing community based programs like the Police Explorers and Walking with the Cops.”

Tamburini took the post as Johnston’s top cop in 1995, arriving in town after decades with Providence Police.

“He started his career as a patrol officer in 1966 with the Providence Police Department,” according to a press release distributed by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association and the Johnston Police Department in June 2020. “He was later appointed to serve as a Supervising Investigator responsible for investigating major and organized crimes in the Providence Area. During his time as Supervising Investigator he assisted in the arrest of Rhode Island’s organized crime leader, Raymond L.S. Patriarca in 1980.”

Tamburini served as the Providence Deputy Chief of Police from 1988 until 1995, when he moved west to serve as Chief of the Johnston Police Department.

Tamburini is a member of the Rhode Island Criminal Justice Hall of Fame.

Johnston’s retired chief is also a veteran who served in the U.S. Army’s 72nd Signal Battalion before he joined the Providence Police force.

Tamburini retired from the Johnston Police Department in August 2020. Razza, then Deputy Chief, was promoted.

Razza has vowed to continue many of the community programs started under Tamburini’s leadership.

“The day has taken some time to plan and we needed to work through some logistical challenges, but we’re ready to go,” Razza said. “While we are still finalizing the program, key note speakers at this time will be Mayor Joseph Polisena, Attorney General Peter Neronha and Colonel Hugh Clements (PPD).”

Saturday’s ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Town of Johnston Municipal Court, 1600 Atwood Ave. Those who attend will eventually cross the street for a ceremony in front of the Johnston Police Department (soon to be known as the Richard S. Tamburini Public Safety Complex) at 1651 Atwood Ave.

A van from the Johnston Senior Center will be on hand to transport some attendees between the courthouse and the police department. After the ceremony, attendees will return back to the courthouse for refreshments, according to Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena.

Masks will be required for those in attendance.


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