The colorful town-wide invitation read “Pizza with the Police” and was issued by Chief Joseph P. Razza and members of the Johnston Police Department.
However, the title could have included “Pizza with the Police and Characters.”
As Razza pointed out while serving slices of pizza — as well as lemonade: “We truly had a great time; this was an amazing evening.”
Perhaps the chief’s enthusiasm epitomized the JPD’s impressive credo: “Working together — making a difference” was part of a super special social setting held outside the Richard S. Tamburini Safety Complex off Atwood Avenue.
People of all ages were greeted by JPD officers then sat in chairs at long banquet-like tables enjoying a slice of pizza with a variety of toppings, Del’s famous lemonade and casual conversation underneath a sparkling sun amid a cool breeze.
Meanwhile, children like Kaylee Ponte and Sophia Lourenco, 9, were excited to dance and have their pictures taken with several costume characters — “Skye” and “Catboy” — who came to Johnston from their home base in Cranston, a.k.a. Party Characters of Rhode Island and owner Kathy Parente.
For inside of two hours, children enjoyed lots of laughter while scooting all around the parking lot hugging “Skye” and “Catboy” and enjoying the pizza, their choice of watermelon or lemonade Del’s and those always-popular one-on-ones with the two costumed classy characters.
There were endless smiles from adults who applauded the JPD for hosting such a unique event.
“Having an opportunity to meet and interact with the members of our community and the support that they show us is always appreciated and truly inspirational,” Razza said while serving more slices of pizza. “Everyone is having fun.”
Likewise, as the chief emphasized: “My deepest appreciation and gratitude goes out to Rick Caron from Hometown Pizza, Subs and Wieners (620 Killingly St.) for supplying us with enough pizza to feed an army. Rick is a huge supporter of ours and we greatly appreciate his generosity and commitment to the community.”
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