Being a police officer is like no other job in the world. It can best be described as having a ringside seat to the greatest show on earth every day. As you read the accounts set forth in the LPD update, it is important to remember:
We could not make this stuff up if we tried.
No one lies to the police.
The names of the individuals involved in the cases discussed in this column have not been published to protect their identity.
Call It As You See It
The goal of any police department is to provide quality law enforcement service to the community which it serves. The men and women of the LPD take great pride in the department’s mission statement which is two simple words “Community Committed.” But how does a police department know if the services they are providing are meeting the needs of the community and its residents?
How about conducting a customer satisfaction survey? We decided that a quick survey, which is just a couple of questions long, will provide our residents with the opportunity to give the LPD feedback on how they rate the department’s performance.
I liked the idea so much that the first 20 surveys went out recently to residents who had contacted the LPD on a wide variety of issues, ranging from being locked out of their cars to domestic disturbances. The LPD will be randomly selecting 5-10 residents per week, who contacted the LPD for assistance, to receive the survey. Please complete the survey and return it to the LPD…….and most of all “Call it as you see it.”
House & Car Break Update
There were no house breaks this week; however, there were several more car breaks. Once again all of the vehicles that were targeted were parked in the driveways of homes were unlocked. The thieves targeted vehicles that had GPS systems, I-pods, computers, change, and other easily carried off valuables. The LPD continues to ask residents to lock their vehicles and report any suspicious activity they observe in their neighborhoods or anywhere else in the community.
Solving A House Break
If you are going to investigate housebreaks, you need to be committed to following a long checklist of tasks that need to be conducted in order to catch that one little break that leads to an arrest and hopefully the recovery of the property that has been stolen.
A good investigator knows that investigating a house break begins long before the house break has occurred. Investigators need to know who is actively committing house breaks, what they drive, what is their “modus operandi” and where do they get rid of the property they steal.
When you are dispatched to investigate a house break, you need to complete a number of tasks including processing the crime scene. Investigators need to be trained to dust for prints, cast tool and shoe impression, and the modern CSI needs to be able to collect Deoxyribonucleic Acid - more commonly called DNA.
As part of the crime scene investigation, an investigator needs to conduct a neighborhood canvass and utilize a K-9 to determine where the suspects may have traveled on foot.
The LPD was recently notified by the Crime Lab that evidence collected during a house break on Auburn Street, approximately a year ago, had been processed resulting in a DNA match to the individual police believe was responsible for the break-in. Finding the suspect’s DNA inside the house….it doesn’t get much better than that.
Now that a match has been made, the suspect will likely be charged within the next several weeks, once all the lab reports, police reports, and court paperwork is completed. I would be remiss if I did not thank the officers who worked on this investigation and congratulate them for a job well done.
Noteworthy Arrests and Incidents
Speeding And A Sweatshirt = Trouble – Two young women traveling down Stafford Street recently learned how the speed of the vehicle they are in can have a significant impact on their criminal record. The women’s problem started when the one who was driving exceeded the speed limit…..STRIKE #1.
Things went from bad to worse when their car sped by a cruiser at 48 mph in a posted 30 mph zone…..STRIKE #2.
When the officer was stopping the vehicle, he observed the passenger reaching into the back seat, which obviously raised the officer’s concern and suspicion. The officer asked the passenger what she was reaching for in the back seat and the passenger responded by saying she wanted to get her sweatshirt (which the officer found rather odd as there was a sweatshirt on the front seat right next to her).
The final flaw, in this less than clever attempted cover up, was that the sweatshirt in the back had actually been strategically placed on top of a 30 pack of Bud Light in an attempt to cover the illegally possessed alcohol. There was only one problem: it did not cover up the entire case……STRIKE #3. The alcohol was confiscated, as evidence, and the two young women were issued citations for minor in possession of alcohol and possession of an open container of alcohol.
Officer, I Was Helping Out By Driving A Drunk Friend Home – If you ask any police officer, they will tell you that they have heard just about every excuse possible that drivers think will get them out of a traffic violation.
An LPD officer recently stopped a motor vehicle for having an expired registration. The Connecticut man, operating the vehicle, told the officer that he was helping out by driving a drunk friend home.
Now you are probably thinking, “Isn’t he a great guy to be making sure his friend got home safely?”…..and you are probably thinking that the LPD officer should cut this guy some slack on his unregistered vehicle charge….but not so fast.
Remember, that you don’t live in the police world where, believe it or not, people lie to the police. The LPD officer did not buy into the excuse and inquired further. By the time the officer was done his investigation, he learned that the vehicle the man was driving was not only unregistered but it was also uninsured.
The man’s driver’s license was also suspended. Not the biggest case in the world, but when you add on to it the fact that the man had four outstanding warrants for his arrest, including one for larceny and credit card fraud, this was a pretty good arrest. So, needless to say, this guy, who was “helping out a friend,” ended up getting arrested.
Officer I Fell Asleep While Driving – LPD officers responded to a report that a motor vehicle accident had occurred on Marshall Street at 3 AM. When the officers arrived at the scene of the accident, they determined that there was one vehicle involved and that it had crossed onto the opposite side of the road, traveled along the embankment for approximately 100 feet, and finally came to rest in the middle of Marshall Street.
What the officers did not find was an operator of the motor vehicle, who was amongst the missing.
The investigating officer was able to contact the operator later the next morning and the operator told the officer she fell asleep while driving resulting in the crash. She did not have a cell phone to call the police. She was picked up by a passing motorist who drove her home, which by the way is several towns away from Leicester. When she arrived at home, she was still in shock and did not even think of calling the police……..Wow !! It sounds almost too far fetched to be true……….humh!!
National Drug Take Back
This Saturday is the 4th National Drug Take Back. Bring all your outdated, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs to the Leicester Recycling Center, 200 Manville Street, Leicester, MA from 10 AM – 2 PM to dispose of them properly, no questions asked. All prescription drugs are accepted for disposal, but please no hypodermic needles and Epi-pens. Those items will not be accepted. You do not need to be a resident of Leicester to drop off medication.
The opinions set forth in this article are those of Chief James Hurley and do not represent the opinions of the Town of Leicester or other members of the Leicester Police Department.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the residents of the community for their continued support of the police department and also to thank all the men and women of the LPD for the professional and effective work they do in the community.