Police vs. Fire on the court, all to benefit charity

Police vs. Fire on the court, all to benefit charity

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The battle for on-court supremacy between the North Providence Police and Fire Departments will play out next Thursday, March 28, in the North Providence High School gym, 1828 Mineral Spring Ave.

Police Chief David Tikoian got the idea for this charity game after attending a charity football game between the North Providence and Johnston Fire Departments in November of 2017.

“I considered an event that would benefit a nonprofit in our town,” he said. He floated the idea in January, and it was immediately supported by Mayor Charles Lombardi and Fire Chief John Silva.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Tri-Town Community Action, a local agency providing needed social services to town residents.

“I’m confident this will be an exciting event for police and fire professionals, their families and the community to support,” Tikoian said.

“Upon assuming command of the North Providence Police Department, one initiative I had was to have both the Fire and Police Departments conduct trainings together. No greater example of this was the active shooter training which was conducted in April 2018 involving both police and fire personnel, with another training scheduled for this April as well,” said Tikoian.

He said his thought was a charity basketball game would be a great event for the agencies to work together “not only on professional level, but also on a community-based civic event that would benefit the community.”

He said he’s always been a proponent of working together with various agencies on all levels.

“I don’t believe the most optimal time for our personnel to meet is during an emergency or crisis,” he said. “An event such as this has so many benefits. In addition to the obvious of a fundraising event, it also builds strong, positive relationships between police and fire professionals.”

Assistant Fire Marshal Marc Rizzo spearheaded the effort on the fire side while Sgt. Christopher Puleo is doing the same on the police side. Deputy Chief Arthur Martins has agreed to be the coach of the North Providence Police Team.

Doors open on March 28 at 5:15 p.m., with tipoff at 6 p.m. Admission is $5, but children are admitted free. Northpointe Bank is a sponsor of the event, which will include a $10,000 half court shot, food and drinks. DJ Sal will provide the entertainment, and there will also be a raffle.