Words like commitment, accomplishment and praise were fixtures of an impressive Johnston Police Department ceremony held inside the Senior Center last Wednesday morning.
Veteran Chief Richard S. Tamburini, who will retire in August, welcomed family, friends, distinguished guests and colleagues to the ceremony, which was headlined by Mayor Joseph Polisena administering the oath of office to three veteran JPD members who were all promoted in rank.
“Today,” Tamburini said with a sense of serious importance ringing in his voice, “at the mayor’s direction, we are celebrating the promotion of three outstanding officers of this department; Lt. Joseph Salvadore being promoted to captain, Sgt. Joseph McGinn promoted to lieutenant and Patrolman Remy Mendez promoted to sergeant. I commend these well-trained, hard-working officers who deserve and have earned my respect and the respect of the entire department.”
After pausing for a moment of silence for those fallen law enforce heroes across the nation who have lost their lives protecting others, Tamburini emphasized: “It takes a special kind of person to risk their lives to keep others safe; their bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Polisena then issued a warm welcome to a host of JPD personnel and their families – who maintained the social distancing rules put in place because of the COVID-19 crisis – heaped words of praise upon what he called “the top performing police department in Rhode Island.”
He then sternly stated: “You will never – ever – hear the words defund the police out of my mouth!”
The sudden silence was then overcome with applause, as the mayor offered: “We are proud of these three great officers and commend them upon today’s promotions. They are all worthy of their new rank and have worked real hard to achieve their new ranks.”
Tamburini then added: “Getting the process right for selecting, training and developing new supervisors is critically important to the future of our department. The leadership of our organization is strong and in capable hands.”
In true Tamburini style, the chief wanted it known: “I cannot think of a more rewarding and greater feeling than bringing joy and happiness to these three officers and their families with today’s promotions. Thank you, mayor.”
As the program was turned over to Deputy Chief Joseph P. Razza, the JPD’s second-in-command said: “Achieving promotion is an accomplishment worthy of praise and I greatly appreciate the commitment that these offices have made in achieving their rank.”
Razza then paused amid applause, which was headed by the smiling mayor, and noted: “These officers are committed to protecting and serving the residents of Johnston and I know that they have sacrificed to reach this milestone in their career.”
The deputy chief then began reading the bios that included countless accomplishments during their JPD careers.
Razza began with Mendez, who began his law enforcement career as a correctional officer at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls. He was hired as a patrolman for the JPD in 2012 after graduating from the Rhode Island Municipal Training Academy. He holds his associate in criminal justice from Roger Williams University and is actively pursuing his bachelor’s degree. His wife, Tara, performed the traditional pinning on the new badge on her husband. He is the son of Dilson Mendez and Lucero Camacho. He and Tara have a daughter Mia, 1.
Sgt. Joseph McGinn was sworn in a member of the JPD back in March 2010. Prior to joining the police department, he graduated from Scituate High School in 1999 and continued his studies to pursue an associate degree in criminal justice. He has been the recipient of several commendation awards and departmental ribbons for his proactive and tenacious police work.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in March 2017. He is the proud husband of Lauren McGinn and the son of the late John F. McGinn and Linda McGinn, who pinned the badge of his new rank on her son.
Lt. Joseph Salvadore has been a sworn member of the JPD since June 2005.
Prior to joining the JPD, he was member of the highly acclaimed Explorers Post 405 while attending La Salle Academy. He was very active in high school sports and community service efforts within the Explorers Post 405 program. He completed his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Johnson & Wales University.
In addition to his many accomplishments, awards, and unique movement up the JPD ranks, Salvadore – whose most recent rank of lieutenant found him in charge of the day shift – is also one of the JPD’s Narcan Instructors, member of the Awards Committee and field training officer. He is the son of David and Lori Salvadore, proud husband to Francesca and father to Nico and Marco and brother to Norm Salvadore of North Providence.
Before Tamburini asked the audience to join him and Polisena in congratulating Capt. Salvadore, Lt. McGinn and Sgt. Mendez, Razza announced the ceremonies finale duty he called “an example of how in these times each and every officer needs the support of his family.”
Razza then announced that Nico Salvadore, son of the new JPD captain, would pin the new ranking badge on his “fantastic father” as his family looked on.
“The real strength of a police officer comes from his family,” Tamburini concluded. “Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your allegiance and devotion.”