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As you receive this lovely magazine, our organization will have just held another successful Gala Dinner Dance. This Gala Dinner drew a sellout crowd at The Fiesta as always and a wonder-ful time was had by all. I was extremely proud of the outstanding hon-orees that the Gala Dinner Dance Commit-tee selected. These honorees have distinguished themselves as leaders in New Jersey’s Italian American Community. As an entertainer, Joe Piscopo has performed for millions in person and on screen. Dawn Simonetti has gained a repu-tation as a rising star in our state’s busiest Prosecutors’ Office. John Bruno is one of North Jersey’s most prominent attorneys, and as Hudson County’s newly-elected Sheriff, Frank Schillari is transforming that agency into a model for the state. I would like to congratulate Gala Chairman Alan Sierchio for an out-standing job. At the Gala Dinner, our Society also recognized two young Italian American police officers for bravery and valor. Police Officer Nick Polidoro of the Bloomfield PD and Police Officer Robert Kane of the Belleville PD were honored for their heroic actions. This should remind us of the dangers that all of us face on a daily basis. The job of a law enforcement officer is becoming ever more dangerous as crime is on the rise in our state and the number of police officers on the street dwindles due to budget cutbacks. The leaders of both our legislature and cities need to be mindful of public safety in the coming months when preparing budgets. As the spring brings a series of events for the Italian American Police Soci-ety of New Jersey, I ask that all members make an attempt to at-tend at least one gen-eral membership meet-ing. These meetings provide the opportunity to enjoy a meal and fellowship while net-working and celebrat-ing our Italian American culture. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you or your families.
Thank you for your support of our great organization. It is more important now than ever that po-lice officers draw closer together to sup-port each other as we face increasing challenges.