Try listening to the story instead of reading it!

by Dave Warner

According to the Little Falls Police Department, the first two weeks of the New York State ‘On Pause’ order were ‘eerily quiet’, but then things started to pick up.

Chief Ron Petrie says that with people staying at home, they are paying a lot more attention to the things that are going on around them and noticing things that they might not have seen before.

“If you see something that is suspicious on a normal day, it’s still suspicious in these times,” stated the Chief.

He says that they are still manned, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “If we need to come to take a report, we have protocols in place to remain socially distant. We can gather information over the telephone if that’s easier for the reporting party.”

If it comes to having to take a written statement, or get documentation, the Police Department has protocols in place for that as well. “We can bring people to the police department and talk to them there with some confidentiality and still offer them protection,” he said.

The Chief says that in the last two weeks, there’s been a spike in criminal activity. “With people at home, they’re observant and noticing it more.”

He says that it’s always best to report what you see than to not report it and have it end up being something.

Specifically, there has been an increase in larceny and domestic violence issues, which he says is “somewhat predictable.”

“We still have our job to do and as difficult as it might be to call the police in certain circumstances, it’s still best to at least let us know and make a report,” the Chief said.

He said that there have also been some complaints about kids congregating in the parks and things along that line. “The most we can do is disburse them and send them on their way. It’s still the obligation of the parents if your kids are going somewhere outside, that they have to be provided the proper protections.”

At this point, he says that they should all have masks if they’re going outside and that they cannot be congregating to play baseball, football, basketball, or any contact sports.

“It’s not something that we look forward to enforcing. We would love to see the kids getting some exercise and being outside getting some fresh air, even though the snow seems to be holding on. Unfortunately, to stop the spread of the virus, we’ve got to keep that social distance.”

He wants to make sure that parents know where their children are and what they are doing. “Unfortunately, it has become part of our job to keep an eye on kids that are out on the street.”

The Chief says that at some point, they’re going to have to start holding the parents accountable.

When it comes to safety, the Chief says that he would recommend the same steps now as he would a year ago. “Keep your cars locked, don’t leave valuables in plain sight where somebody walking by can see your laptop in the back seat and try and take it.”

“Don’t leave your wallet or cell phones or things that are easily taken,” in your car.

He said that they often get calls at eight or nine o’clock in the morning by people who say they heard something at 3 am and that they didn’t want to bother them.

The Chief says, “There’s a reason we’re 24/7. We have people on at 3 am and it’s not a bother, it’s our job to respond to those calls when they’re happening. We’d rather be called then than to find out something happened six hours later when it’s more difficult to figure out the who, what and why.”

No matter what the time, if you hear or see something suspicious, the Chief wants you to make the call.