Is That A Dancer Or A Traffic Cop? Wait, He's Both

Play associated audio

Christmas means time for family, presents, cookies and of course, holiday traffic. All over the country, traffic cops are working overtime to keep the roads safe for last-minute shoppers.

For nearly 30 years, Tony Lepore has worked as one of those cops in Providence, R.I. But he doesn't just beckon, wave and blow a whistle; he dances — and he's got some serious moves.

Lepore told Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that he always wanted to be an entertainer, but that wasn't easy to do in Rhode Island in the 1960s. So, he became a police offer instead. After being inspired by some progressive traffic directing by Chicago cops he saw on Candid Camera, he decided to jazz up his own directing with his personal style.

"I did this for about three days, until the Providence Journal got wind of it and came down and did [a]whole front-page spread," Lepore says. "Because people were calling the [police] station and loving it so much, they let me do it."

Though it might seem to some people that Lepore is just dancing in the street, he says every hip swivel, spin move and leg shimmy is for traffic. He says safety, however, is still paramount.

"I have to be much more cautious because I direct traffic this way," he says. "I've had a few close calls but I've never had an accident."

Lepore says that he never thought that by pursuing a career in law enforcement he'd get live out his dream of being an entertainer.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Comic-Con Fans Continue The Epic Battle Between Science And Fiction

Fans of science fiction have long wrestled with the question of just how much science should be in their fiction. Advocates of different approaches met at San Diego's Comic-Con.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Leaked Democratic Party Emails Show Members Tried To Undercut Sanders

Just days before the Democratic National Committee convention gets underway, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails among DNC staff, revealing discussions of topics from Bernie Sanders to the media.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.