Wednesday morning the Providence Police and Fire Department had their first Annual tree lighting ceremony at the Providence Public Safety Complex. There was a special performance by the Central High School Choir and of course a visit from Santa Claus.
Major Oscar Perez was asked “How do you feel about this Christmas event?” The Mayor responded “Happy, we are here to celebrate with our community and students of Central high School. It is important for the police that the children of our communities see that we (policemen) celebrate these holidays.”
Oscar continued “In our countries of origin the celebration is very festive and here we do the same. It is important that everyone understand that the policemen also participate in these events and we all love and can’t wait to see Santa Claus every year.”
Students Alejandro, who is Venezuelan and Karen from Guatemala, both seniors of Central High School spoke about their participation in the event. “We came to play the bells for some of the Christmas songs that Central High School will be performing.” Alejandro shared. Karen responded “There are others that came to dance and sing as well”.
Major Frank Colon shared “It is a beautiful day to start Christmas celebrations. We invited students from George J West elementary and Central High School to start the Christmas season with this event. For them, our community and for our police department we got two new Christmas trees, which the children helped us decorate. As you saw the band from Central High School came to sing and perform Christmas carols for us here at the police department which was open to our community.
“I feel very proud to be part of this event; my staff was the ones that organized it. It’s a beautiful time, it is a time we have to remember the good that exist in this life, the family, the friends and we the police have to remember our community, so this event is for us to share with our community especially our youth, our children so they know that the police are here as friends not as their enemy that they should not be afraid of us. The event has various reasons why it was done. I believe this event is important for us as well as for our community.
Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
“Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad! This was a great concept thought of by a couple of the female executive assistants on the police department side. They decided to get the trees for both the police department and the fire department so we had a lot of people contribute form the FOP from the Fire union and police union, the commissions office and we reach out to the schools, George J West and the choir of Central High School it a really nice event and it really elevates the Christmas spirit officially now that we have trees and we heard Christmas music. “
Commissioner of Public Safety Steven M. Paré
It came from staff actually; they wanted to do something with children. So that is how it started the civilian staff here wanted to do something special it is our first time and we hope to continue it.
It is bringing everyone together especially the kids in our community we should do more of this.