NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A North Providence restaurant owner recently used the power of good food to foster a positive relationship between the city’s police department and its black community.
Jay Lee, owner of JL Dana’s Sports Lounge, decided to treat the North Providence Police Department to lunch on Tuesday, bringing 25 lobster rolls to a group of hungry, and appreciative, officers.
Lee said as a black business owner, he felt it was important for him to promote a positive relationship with local police.
Lee’s kind gesture comes at a time while many are calling for the defunding of police departments nationwide.
“I needed to do something, just to boost the morale of the police in our city,” Lee said. “People are getting killed and they think that all cops are bad cops and that’s not my decision personally.”
Jarrod Tillinghast, owner of Legendary Boxing, helped Lee organize the delivery. Both men said bringing the lobster rolls to the police department is something they will never forget, especially after seeing the smiles on the officers’ faces.
“I didn’t see a uniform,” Tillinghast said. “It was like regular people humbled, grateful and very appreciative.”
Lee said he plans on bringing the city’s firefighters lunch next.