It was back on June 4, 2021, when Johnston Town Councilwoman Lauren A. Garzone — in conjunction with the Johnson Police Department — launched and held the town’s first-ever Neighborhood Watch Program.
Garzone, a Johnston native who has lived in District 2 all her life and is described as a compassionate and caring person who is well-versed in the legal field, did so for many reasons, one of which includes walking tours of various neighborhoods.
Moreover, she founded the tours all-important because she heard of complaints about people dumping trash on other District 2 resident’s property as well opening the lines of communication, meeting neighbors and develop relationships that build community resiliency and pride via meetings and walking tours.
Thus, what was another first for the valuable program was Rhode Island’s “Top Cop” — Attorney General Peter Neronha — making an important visit to the Neighborhood Watch group’s recent meeting held inside the Johnston Senior Center’s Board Room.
“I was particularly honored to have Rhode Island’s Attorney General stop in and give our group his legal perspective on current issues and current topics facing Rhode Islanders,” Garzone offered. “It was a valuable, informative and educational night and we thank him for coming to the meeting.”
Neronha, who has been a frequent visitor to Johnston since his election, presented an array of topics including “domestic violence, gun violence, elder abuse and consumer protection issues and how he and his office are addressing each one.”
Garzone also issued a heart-felt “Thank You” to Neronha emphasizing “we all appreciate him taking the time out of his busy schedule to address our community watch group and also announcing he plans to take part in our Neighborhood Watch walks in the near future.”
Neronha was also impressed to learn that the program allows residents of District 2 to interact with their neighbors and police as they address the quality-of-life issues in a problem-solving approach geared around community-oriented policing.
In addition, as Garzone later added, “The aim of our Neighborhood Watch includes educating residents of the community on security and safety and achieving safe and secure neighborhoods.”
To which JPD Chief Joseph P. Razza added: “I was honored that Attorney General Peter Neronha same to speak at our Neighborhood Watch meeting. His visit truly enhanced the importance of our all-volunteer group and adds to the mission statement of this valuable citizens committee."
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