Verona Police Save A Life–In Verona, Italy


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Mitchell Stern, Verona's chief of police.
Mitchell Stern, Verona’s chief of police.

The Verona Police Department saved a life late last week: The life of a Chinese student in Verona, Italy, thanks to a Chinese student in the U.K.

According to the website Buzzfeed, which usually writes about social media and entertainment, the U.K. student emailed what he thought were the police in Verona, Italy late Thursday afternoon to say that a friend in that city was trying to commit suicide. But the email actually went to our VPD, which has a pretty high profile on the Internet, thanks to Mitchell Stern, who is now our chief. (If you Google “Verona Police” the VPD is the first thing that comes up.)

Though the VPD doesn’t monitor its email all day every day, Chief Stern did happen to see this email when it came in at 5:20 p.m. our time. He couldn’t find contact information for his Italian counterparts on the Internet, so he called Interpol in Washington and they alerted the Italian police. By 7:10 p.m., Chief Stern got an email from the Chinese student in the U.K. saying that the Italian police were in his friend’s apartment.

In a post on Facebook, the Italian police say that the student survived. And they praised the VPD for its quick thinking to save a life. “The very rapid transmission of information on an international level and the immediate synergy with the police station in Verona,” the post said in part, “has saved the life of the young student.”

Kudos to Chief Stern. You can read the full post on Buzzfeed here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
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 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. Congrats to the chief
    In 1957/1958 I was stationed in Verona Italy at the Headquarters Casserma Passalaqua
    of SETAF. I was a SP3 with the 163 Military Intelligence company. I received a letter
    from my friend Bob Petrie telling me that he and new bride were honeymooning
    In Italy and would be in Verona, Italy. I knew that Bob was on the town council of Verona
    NJ. I went to the commanding officer and told him that my friend plus wife were arriving
    in a few days. I confess that I made Bob the Mayor of Verona NJ. I also suggested that I
    arrange for the two Mayors of the two Veronas meet. The commander told me to take 3
    days to put this together. It was a lot of fun to accomplish this from a beautiful local
    lake and read of this in the Stars & Stripes.


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