WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Two beloved members of the Waterbury community were honored Tuesday afternoon with the dedication of a brand new park on Bank Street in the city’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
City leaders and members of the Brass City’s police department gathered for a ceremony to honor and remember Lt. Vincent Riddick and Lisa Stokes Velez.
Lt. Riddick was a 12-year veteran of the Waterbury Police Department. He died in 2009 after a courageous battle with brain cancer.
Velez served as president of the Waterbury Neighborhood Council and was a big part of the park’s creation. She passed away in 2019 from cancer.
On Tuesday, their brothers, both members of law enforcement in Connecticut, spoke at the ceremony.
“One thing I always remember about Lisa saying is that the children of Brooklyn need a park. She’d always say that… it’s just not right… they need a park. Brooklyn kids need a safe place to play. Then when her beloved dear friend Lt. Riddick passed away, it lit a fire inside her. She made it her mission. It was definitely her mission to get this park done and get it named after Vinnie. Lisa, I know you’re listening… you did it, you did it. Mission complete. You did it,” said Lt. Michael Stokes, Waterbury Police Department.
After Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, students from the nearby Duggan School were the first children to get a chance to play on the new equipment in the park.