Hide caption Relationships with cops can last a lifetime. When you’re a reporter just starting to cover a police department, there’s a period of weeks — or months — when the cops are testing you. Will you be fair? Accurate? Will you treat their confidences as confidential? Do you care as much about your work as they do theirs? Bottom line: Can they trust you? Until the question has been answered, it can be rough sledding. But the flip side is that once you’re in with a cop, you’re in for life. Years after I covered the Providence police for a couple of years in the early 1980s, I would run into a former patrolman or detective at a church fair or restaurant, and their face would light up. As would mine. So it was with John David “Dave” Zielinski, a one-time Providence police major who died late last month. I’d known Zielinski when he was a lieutenant, and a member of the department’s bureau of planning and research, in the early 1980s. Solidly built, a lawyer as well as a cop, Dave was part of a brainy crew that also included Gerry Aubin — now head of the […]