EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Police Department held its Ninth Annual Memorial Service Sunday, May 19, at its headquarters, the Major Alister C. McGregor Public Safety Complex.
The event, sponsored by the East Providence Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1 and the East Providence Fraternal Order of Police Associate Lodge 1, took place under bright sunny skies amid an overriding air of respect for those former officers who served the city.
Officer Patrick Conaty presided over the event, which lasted for approximately 45 minutes. Officer Conaty gave a poignant speech to the gathered audience, which number at some 100. The officer noted the dedication of he and his brethren to the cause of protecting citizens. He acknowledged the sacrifices of the families of his fellow members. And he referred to the legislation signed by then President John F. Kennedy in 1962, which created National Police Officers Day and set up a week of recognition for those in law enforcement.
EPPD Deputy Chief Christopher Parella, likewise, touched on many of the same topics as Officer Conaty, making special mention of the dangers every member of law enforcement faces daily in the line of duty. Deputy Chief Parella also acknowledged the support his department receives from the community and the need for police officers to be engaged with the public they serve.
In addition to the members of the EPPD, Ward 2 Councilman and Assistant Mayor Thomas Rose spoke on behalf of the East Providence City Council. Ward 1 Councilman, Council President and Mayor James Briden delivered remarks in the stead of City Manager Peter Graczykowski, who was unable to attend the memorial service.
All five members of the City Council — including also Tracy Capobianco, Helder Cunha and Chrissy Rossi — were in attendance Sunday as were many of East Providence state delegation, including Representatives Helio Melo, Gregg Amore and Katherine Kazarian along with Senator Daniel DaPonte.
The East Providence Police Department Honor Guard presented the colors. Annette Mozzoni, of the Rhode Island Philharmonic School, sang the National Anthem. Thomas Pereira played a rendition of “Amazing Grace” on the bag pipes. Trumpeter Gaston Malloy played “Taps.” EPPD Chaplain Greg Carpenter delivered the invocation. EPFOP Lodge 1 chaplain Jarrett Station offered the benediction. Officer Conaty and Frank Perrotta, of the FOPA, read the “Call of Heroes.” And the R.I. National Guard gave a 21-gun salute.