You can tell the seasons are changing form spring to summer just by the type of calls officers respond to and the questions that are asked. For example, “Should we put up a sign at the entrance to the city park telling people that a bear was recently seen in the park?” It is always a balancing act. Will it cause unnecessary concern? Is a sign necessary? If you erect a sign there, are you obligated to also erect a sign on other public properties where bears have been sighted, including other parks, trails and even a residential alley? The park is heavily wooded and contains all sorts of wildlife, as one would expect. In the end, the decision is that of the Parks Department.
Last weekend was “Fishing Opener.” Normally, because of the number of people coming to town the number of fender bender accidents increase. That was not the case this weekend as officers responded to only a half dozen minor traffic accidents. That is pretty typical for a spring weekend. What did increase was the number of calls to help people who had locked their keys in their vehicles. Officers handled a dozen of these from Friday morning through Sunday night.
This is also the time of year when people once again begin to enjoy camping. Unfortunately, for two sisters camped at the Fairgrounds, it was not quite as enjoyable. At 1 a.m. Saturday morning a nearby camper called the police when the two sisters started fighting, literally rolling around on the ground. Officers arrived and promptly separated them.
Sergeant Heath Smith responded to a call on the morning of May 17. A woman showed up at a local service garage upset that the DWI Ignition Breath Interlock device had not yet been installed on her car. The woman was gone by the time Heath arrived. The vehicle she left in was subsequently located in Deer River. It kind of makes one wonder if she was the one that drove a vehicle to the garage to complain.
That afternoon, Officer Gary O’Brien was called to the 1900 block of Pokegama Avenue. The caller stated that one vehicle struck another vehicle and both vehicles drove off, leaving the bumper from one of the vehicles laying in the traffic lane. When Gary arrived, he found that someone had moved the bumper onto the sidewalk. It was not hard to identify the owner. The license plate was still attached to the bumper. Shortly afterwards, the drivers called stating that they had moved their vehicles to a side street and requested an officer to have an accident report filed.
Later that day, Gary was called to Walmart. Store Security had a shoplifter detained. The woman claimed that it was just a big misunderstanding. Testimony from Store Security and video showed something different. The woman had removed tags from swimsuits and a tote bag. She placed the swimsuits into the tote bag and proceeded to the checkout. She then placed her dog on top of the stolen tote bag and paid for a few small items. Store Security detained her as she walked out of the store.
Officer O’Brien asked the woman how she had arrived at the store and she claimed that she received a ride from someone. Gary knew better as he had parked his police car next to the woman’s car in the parking lot. The parking lot video showed her driving into the lot and then entering the store. When confronted with this, the woman said, “Well, yeah. I drove here because I am going on vacation to Texas.” Gary had ticketed her three weeks before for driving with a suspended driver’s license. She received a couple more tickets.