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What is the Police Blotter?

Careful readers will have noticed that the second page of The Lakeville Journal usually features the Police Blotter. The items we include are taken from the log book that is easily accessible to all members of the public in the front lobby of the State Police Troop B barracks on Route 7 in North Canaan.

Troop B offers police protection for 13 towns in the Northwest Corner, and all of the six Lakeville Journal towns except for Kent, which is the farthest south town in our coverage area and is under the care of Troop L in Litchfield.

Three of our six towns also have a dedicated but part-time resident state trooper, who is assigned longterm to a particular municipality. Those three towns are North Canaan, Kent and Salisbury. Towns must vote to have a resident state trooper and they must pay the majority of the costs associated with the trooper, such as equipment and salary.

During the COVID-19 quarantine, you’re discouraged from stepping inside the State Police barracks. Our intrepid staff continues to go and get the log of incidents once a week.

Unlike many newspapers, we do not sensationalize these listings and we take no pleasure in printing them. The Lakeville Journal primarily covers government and culture, but we feel it’s important to acknowledge that life has challenges and those difficulties can often be seen in the police log.

Every item in the log that relates to our six-town coverage area is included in our Police Blotter, even if the item relates to one our staff members or their family or one of our investors. No exceptions.

We generally run the log items exactly as they are written by the police. Sometimes a complex case has a detailed warrant, which in most cases we will summarize.When we run a full-length article about a police incident it is because we feel that it impacts safety in the region. We are keenly aware that the police log captures what is often the worst day in a person’s life, and certainly the worst day of their week. We do not print it to pass judgment or provide amusement.

Emergency services

The 911 system that serves the Northwest Corner is called Litchfield County Dispatch or LCD. Its headquarters are in the State Police Troop L barracks in Litchfield.

When you call 911 here, your call goes to LCD, which then “dispatches” the nearest state troopers and the nearest volunteer fire and ambulance squads.

It can’t be stated too many times: Nearly all the Northwest Corner emergency service providers are volunteers, who undergo many hours of expensive training that is time consuming and takes them away from their families and their jobs.

These volunteers very much want you to call 911 at the first sign of trouble, before a medical emergency turns into a crisis and before a small spark turns into a major structure fire.

However, they will be very grateful if your household alarm system doesn’t go off every time a contractor enters or exits your home and forgets to punch the code in correctly. The fire and ambulance teams still have to suit up and respond to the call, even if this is the third time a worker has set off the alarm.

Some of the volunteer companies will now charge a fee for these repeat false alarm visits. Keep in mind that there is no charge in most towns for fire and ambulance protection. Be thoughtful and respectful and consider making a donation.

Our ambulance volunteers are competent to care for nearly all of the calls for aid that come in to them. Sometimes, however, a higher level of training is required; in those cases, Northern Dutchess Paramedics joins the volunteers on the call.

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