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Serve and protect

Patrol squad report. Tue., March 15, 2:32 p.m. Subaru Forester darted out of Saratoga Springs Public Library lot, nearly broadsiding police cruiser proceeding north on Putnam St. Officer exited vehicle, adopted disapproving glare as per confrontation protocol, and wielded baton conspicuously. Subject, a middle-aged white female in large parka and earmuffs, partially exited Subaru and called out repeated, not to say craven, apologies. Subject, hurrying to editorial meeting at Skidmore, claimed snow piles on curb blocked vision. Subject advised to “nose out slowly and peek around” before entering roadway. No citation issued.

Off-duty patrol report. Fri., June 3, 6:15 p.m. Officer in unmarked vehicle, westbound on Andrews St., witnessed dog race across street and accost citizen walking dog on leash. Citizen allowed dogs to greet, but evinced trepidation as loose dog blocked progress of leashed dog. Officer exited vehicle, leaving it idling in roadway with door open as emergency refuge. Citizen, a middle-aged white female with thick glasses, asked if dog belonged to officer, then saw uniform and realized that police assistance was being rendered.

In animal-encounter safety posture—motionless, erect, hands behind back—officer called in friendly tones to loose dog, which, when asked to sit, sat. Citizen, now more at ease, said subject was an unknown pit-bull mix. Gingerly exploration of collar produced no ID, but interview of two males working on old car nearby yielded address of owner. Citizen offered spare leash from Subaru Forester parked at residence, and officer walked subject to house indicated by informants. Subject reunited with owner, who explained that subject had dug under backyard fence. Owner cautioned to improve fence.

On way home, officer spotted citizen walking on-leash dog and pulled over to inform her that subject was restored to owner and spare leash was returned to citizen’s vehicle. Grateful citizen addressed officer as “a peach and a prince.” Incident resolved.

Dispatch report. Sun., July 10, 11:18 a.m. Caller from 19 Andrews St. requested animal control. When asked if dog or cat, caller admitted subject was a skunk. Caller was referred to nuisance wildlife service but said skunk was dying and asked about disposal. In light of public-health issues, dispatcher offered humane dispatch. Among reduced weekend personnel, enlisted parking officer to respond.

Parking squad follow-up, 11:31 a.m. Officer shown to backyard by middle-aged white female, extremely talkative in state of concern, pity, and morbid fascination. Verified overpowering skunk odor and presence of animal between garden fence and thicket of daylilies. Subject feebly lifted head, trembled, and lay flat, flies and hornets buzzing hungrily. With shotgun from vehicle trunk, officer took close aim and fired one round into subject’s head. (Blast drew onlookers into alley—one adolescent female on pink bicycle; one elderly male, shoeless and shirtless. Both retreated upon sight of double-barreled gun.) Secured the deceased in trash bag and removed from premises. Resident expressed gratitude for “a nasty but valued service, rendered efficiently and respectfully.” Officer departed promptly, to limit further exposure to skunk odor and resident’s conversational excesses.

Dispatch report. Mon., July 11, 9:02 a.m. Caller from 19 Andrews St. inquired about next police benefit ball, wishing to be added to gift-solicitation list. Request granted. —SR