Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE K-9
A golden retriever named Ben Franklin is the newest member of the Franklin Police Department. The puppy works within the Community Services Division as a therapy dog. “Therapy dogs are used to comfort people who have been involved in a trauma, or stressful event,” police tweeted. “They can also help de-escalate situations, and bring a calming presence to a scene.” In addition to responding to calls, he will also make regular appearances at local schools, the senior center, and other community events. Franklin Police Chief Thomas J. Lynch praised the efforts of Lieutenant Mark Manocchio and the Community Services Division to bring the puppy on board. “There are only a few communities in Massachusetts so far that have embraced therapy dogs as a way to engage and serve the public,” said Lynch. “We see Ben as being a public face of our agency, and a symbol of our commitment to use all available resources to better serve our residents.” On Feb. 26, police tweeted photos of Ben Franklin lounging on the floor of the dispatch center, and said he was “ready to answer any calls that need doggy translation.”
The old adage “the customer is always right” doesn’t always hold true, especially when the patron in question is looking to cause trouble.
Such was the case on the morning of March 6, when Marblehead police received a 911 call from a local business complaining about a young male who was “dancing around” inside the store. According to the log entry, the clerk also said he “saw the kid outside trying to ask people to buy cigars.” The mischief-maker left before officers arrived at the scene. Police said the manager would call back if he returned.
At 8:49 p.m. March 10, police received a 911 call from a convenience store on Route 106 in Bridgewater. The caller reported that an intoxicated female asked to use the bathroom and then asked to eat an employee’s dinner. The caller said she then became upset and when she was asked to leave, she refused to do so. Police responded to escort the woman out of the store, and she was taken to a local hospital.
BEWARE ONLINE SCAMMER
Someone has been impersonating a Hingham police officer on social media and trying to scam money from unwitting victims. Hingham police said several women have been contacted online by a person pretending to be Sergeant Steven Dearth, who serves as the department’s public information officer. Police said someone took photos from Dearth’s professional social media accounts and used them to open “numerous fake Instagram accounts” as well as profiles on the Plenty of Fish dating website. Police said the scammer claimed he was a widower and spent a considerable amount of time trying to gain the trust of his potential victims. . Police said that once the fake accounts are closed, new ones open “days later with a different user name and the same photos.” Police urged the public to be wary of this and “to never wire money, share credit card information or personal information online without first verifying who you are sharing it with,” and to report any fraud to authorities.
THE FIGHT THAT WASN’T
Just after 11 p.m. March 8, Norwood police responded to a report of a possible disturbance at a home on Washington Street. The officer reported that the ruckus was “a loud television, not an argument.”Emily Sweeney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.