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Thanks For Cops & Robbers


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The "Cops" band: Pat Filoso, Gerard DiNola, retired Sgt. Marty Santuoso and Sgt. Dan Greco. (Photo by Ed Carattini Jr.)

We got this letter Monday from Sgt. Dan Greco, one of the organizers of Cops & Rockers, the teen band competition that was held at VHS this past Saturday night:

I could not have asked for a better event than the first annual Cops & Rockers Battle of the Bands Fundraiser. It has been such a pleasure conceptualizing an idea like this and watching it come to fruition in the way that it did. The Cops & Rockers show was better than I imagined it could be, and that is due to an amazing team of people that worked together to make a special night happen.

Growing up in the Township of Verona has been such a blessing for me. When I was twelve years old, I picked up my first guitar and I never looked back. Living in Verona, I naturally went to Rocktec Music for my lessons. Owner Ritchie Ciricello sold me my first guitar and a passion was born. Now, almost 22 years later I had the pleasure of walking into Rocktec Music once again and secured Ritchie as our sponsor for the show.

Ritchie introduced me to Bob Agosto and that led to an amazing live recording as well as the coolest grand prize a battle of the bands could have…a chance to record your music in a professional recording studio with Bob Agosto. Ritchie and Bob’s generosity in donating their time and equipment will not soon be forgotten by me or the many kids who got to live out a true rock and roll fantasy.

A show like this could not be complete without some really experienced event planners. I naturally was led to the VMPA (Verona Music Parent Association). VMPA member Beth Smillie loved the concept and worked with me from day one to make this show happen.

Our MC for the show was Chris Segarra from Legendary Entertainment. Chris has a tremendous DJ business and the most amazing personality. He has shown the Verona PBA so much generosity over the years and he continues to do so. Chris did an amazing job and his efforts truly boosted the show’s success.

The Verona P.B.A. local # 72 members donated their time in full force as they quickly jumped on board with this project and volunteered to work the show. It was great to see my fellow workers once again support a great cause and selflessly come together for the good and welfare of others.

The community also was well represented at the show from everyone from our Police Chief, Douglas Huber to Deputy Mayor Frank Sapienza. VHS Principal Glenn Cesa was there to support the kids as well as so many familiar faces including Verona alumni and residents.

The best part was watching the kids enjoy themselves on stage. If this show can inspire kids to start bands and open the door to a life-long passion like music has done for me, than that is all I could ask for. Thank you to everyone who was a part of the show and I look forward to doing this again!

Sgt. Dan Greco
Verona P.B.A. Local # 72

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. My family and I attended the event and had a blast! It was a fun night and I am looking forward to next year’s event.


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