New safety complex hosts youth commissioners

New safety complex hosts youth commissioners

Patrolman Jeff Galligan begins one of several tours of the new North Providence Safety Complex accompanied by Dusko, the latest canine member of the North Providence Police Department. The North Providence Police Department invited members of the North Providence Youth Commission to a tour of the new Safety Complex on Sept. 30. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Chief David Tikoian still remembers his father taking him in the 1970s to what was then the new Smithfield Police Department. His hope, in welcoming members of the North Providence Mayor’s Youth Commission for a tour and cookout at the new North Providence Public Safety Complex last week, is that those youths will have the same fond recollection when they’re his age.

“Who knows, maybe one of them will be a police officer someday,” he said.

Police invited members of the commission for the Sept. 30 gathering as part of the department’s ambitious community outreach initiative.

The previous week, as Tikoian spoke with Youth Commission adviser Jeannie Vickers about hosting the next scheduled meeting of the commission, she responded that she thought it would be a great idea. At the conclusion of their meeting, Tikoian gave commission members a tour of the complex and then officers cooked up hamburgers and hotdogs on the complex’s new grill in the courtyard area.

Lt. Michael Tavarozzi, the department’s Community Policing Unit officer, coordinated the cookout on behalf of the department.

“Our department has relied on the members of the Youth Commission in many occasions, including such events as Memorial Day Parade and National Night Out,” said Tikoian. “They provide our department with valuable assistance for these large community events and I felt this was just a small way we could show our appreciation.”

The Police Department and the Youth Commission have a great relationship and this is a perfect example of how law enforcement engages with the youth of community in a very positive way, he said.

“I can’t say enough good things about these young students. They are incredibly motivated and always willing to give a helping hand when called upon,” said the chief. “It’s a great partnership and we are grateful for Jeannie and all the commission members for their passion and service to the community.”

Detective Christopher Petteruti shows members of the North Providence Youth Commission a high-tech device for revealing fingerprints to lab examiners.
Youth Commission members, along with members of the North Providence Police and town officials gather for a group picture after having received a special tour of the new North Providence Public Safety Complex.
Patrolman and canine handler Jeff Galligan, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, Youth Commission members Camila Pinheiro, Naideja Parker and Precious Lijofi, from left, chat about the tour of the new Public Safety Complex and their impressions of it during the after-tour cookout in the outside courtyard area.