Long before we saw Rhode Island native DJ Pauly D dancing and fist-pumping on "Jersey Shore", another Ocean State resident was showcasing his moves in the media. Meet Tony Lepore, a Providence traffic cop who is a R.I. celebrity because he dances while on the job. In the middle of the street.
The legend of "The Providence Dancing Cop" dates back to the '60s. Lepore served in the Vietnam War. After returning to the United States, he joined the Providence Police Department. Fast forward to 1981, when the department moved Lepore from night duty to the day shift. The officer would take turns with two other cops directing traffic on the corner of Westminster and Dorrance Streets in downtown Providence. Lepore carried out the task in a traditional fashion, until 1984.
"I was watching 'Candid Camera' back in the '80s and I got an idea to do some dancing the next day," Lepore recalled to the Boston Globe. "But I had to watch out for my bosses; I didn't know if they were going to like it."
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