Update: To protect and to lurk .. and to read
UPDATE (10/1/14): Today, I drove by the Troy PD patrol car spot I mentioned in the following post written last month. There’s a cruiser there again, in the same low (if any) crime area. This time, the officer inhabiting the vehicle isn’t just idly watching traffic go by while nefarious activities go on in some of the surrounding blocks. He wasn’t watching the street at all. I circled around the block and checked to be sure what I saw the first time was accurate. Yep. He was busy reading. Oh, and protecting and defending, too, I’m sure.
TROY — I had to pay a visit to an Adirondack Tire Center in Troy’s Lansingburgh section today. Not much of a way to begin a commentary, but it’s the reason I noticed what I noticed. A Troy Police Department cruiser sitting in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station across the street.
I had seen the same thing while driving down that same street a day earlier. Under many circumstances it would be an unremarkable sight either time. This time it caught my eye, however, because I remembered Chief John Tedesco several weeks ago announcing an expanded police presence in the wake of numerous outbreaks of arson, shootings and stabbings in that city neighborhood.
If so, this particular deployment was a waste of the cop’s time and my tax money.
That stretch of 2nd Street is anything but a hotbed of illicit activity. It’s a commercial strip, just south of Powers Park. A smarter place to be would be about four blocks north and one block east. That’s where you’re getting into the sections of open-air drug markets and plywood-studded deteriorating buildings that seem to attract arsonists and other assholes.
Unless the intent of stationing a patrol car on that quiet section of 2nd Street was to catch the occasional speeder or scare off any out-of-towners headed deeper into the ‘Burgh for a drug buy, it doesn’t make much sense. We already have too many spots in the City of Troy where patrol cars are stationed to catch errant motorists while ignoring obvious drug activity in areas the police have, in effect, surrendered to crooks.
For a variety of blogs, guides and websites for readers of all interests, go to Bill Dowd.com.