Pleasantville hosts first ‘Pizza with the Prosecutor’

Greeting members of the community at Pleasantville’s Johnny D’s, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner felt like he was returning home in a way.
Formerly the Board of Education’s solicitor, he came to Pleasantville for his first Pizza with the Prosecutor event.
It was the first of what he expects to be regular events to allow county residents to come out, get to know the members of the Prosecutor’s Office and ask any questions they may have.
Tyner has made it a priority to be more open with residents, including commenting on issues his predecessors have been notoriously closed-mouthed about.
“He’s always been connected to this city in some way,” resident Belinda Manning said of Tyner. “So I’m not surprised.”
As she sat eating pizza with Police Chief Sean Riggin, she also spoke of the great relationship the police and residents have.
She mentioned a heartfelt Facebook post she shared that Riggin wrote after seeing children during a drug arrest.
“I wanted people to see what city police officers and chiefs can be,” she said.
Several of Riggin’s officers attended the event, including Sheriff Frank Balles, who will soon return to his pre-sheriff position of police captain.
“It’s a great event,” said Mayor Jesse Tweedle.
“It’s a good way to bring the community together,” said Beverly Whittington.
Her husband, Russell, was sorry not to see more of the community gathered here.
But the lifelong resident is proud of his town: “Pleasantville is beautiful to me.”
Johnny D’s owner, John Douris, said he’s wanted to be part of something like this.
“I’m honored this is the first place,” he said. “I’m thrilled.”