The 38th Aquidneck Island National Police Parade was held on Sunday, May 7, starting just before noon at Howard Johnsons in Middletown, heading south on Broadway, and ending in Washington Square, Newport, at a review stand. There were awards for the best honor guard, uniform, and cruiser.
This year’s parade honored the 245 officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty in 2022, including Bristol, Connecticut, Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hazmy as well as Massachusetts State Trooper Tamar Bucci.
Two honorary members, Newport Police Department Retired Chief Gary Silva, and Providence Police Department Retired Colonel Hugh Clements were also recognized.
A beautiful sunny spring day brought a good-sized crowd to view the police cruisers, motorcycles, pipe bands, clowns, police dogs, police horses and the Shriner’s funny little cars. As the procession passed Colony House in Washington Square a little girl yelled “Daddy” and ran up to greet her father, Lieutenant Mark Mooney of the Portsmouth Police Department who swooped her up and then her little brother. The crowd cheered! Police present represented almost all of Rhode Island and many communities from neighboring Massachusetts and as far away as Boston. One group represented a full police marching band from New York City.
After a full one-and-one-half-hour procession of non-stop pageantry, the parade concluded and the large flag that had been draped across lower Broadway by two fire engine ladders was carefully lowered and folded. Broadway was fully unoccupied for about one minute and life returned to the norm as cars returned to the street.