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Quiet nights are good nights for the police

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Hudson – “I’d say tonight was a pretty quiet shift,” Sergeant Chad Perry of the Hudson Police Department said in reference to the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift Oct. 2. “Hudson is really quite a safe community.”

2008 crime statistics at www.citydata.com show that 79 percent of crime in Hudson is theft, 13 percent burglaries, 8 percent auto theft, and 1 percent “other.” Prior to the May 1 double murder on Manning Street, Perry placed the last murder in the town as taking place in the late 1980s.

“I’m happy to say with the population in town, it’s a small percentage of people we deal with,” Perry said, “but we deal with that percentage often.”

Perry’s shift Oct. 2 totaled nine calls for services ranging from a violation of a restraining order, a hit and run accident at Wal-Mart, a motor vehicle accident at Hannaford’s, and a parking complaint to suspicious activity, a disturbance call of a loud bang on a door in a residential neighborhood, a medical emergency, and construction equipment with the lights left on.

At 7:28 p.m. dispatchers received a call of a medical emergency on Robert Street. Perry arrived at the emergency from more than five miles away in less than three minutes, coming in behind another responding police officer, the Hudson Fire Department and paramedics.

A 911 call goes to the police dispatch on Packard Street, where the enhanced system gives the address of a land-line call; in case of a call from a mobile phone, the call is triangulated by cell relay towers. “Usually we can get down to within about 100 feet of the caller,” Perry said. A call for emergency aid summons not only the police, but also the Hudson Fire Department and paramedics.

Hudson’s central location influences what police encounter.

“Because of the commercial businesses and access to Interstates 290, 495 and Route 62, we have people coming from all over,” Perry said. “You don’t know what people have, or who you are dealing with.”

At 8:58, a silver Ford mustang traveling 12 miles over the posted speed limit on Forrest Avenue illustrated Perry’s point. The vehicle, registered in Las Vegas, Nevada, was operated by a Massachusetts resident. The operator however, was without his driver’s license. From his patrol car, Perry checked the vehicle’s out-ofstate registration, called up the DMV photo of the driver, and searched for any prior police records of the vehicle’s operator. “People are very good at giving their friends’ information,” Perry said. “If the picture that comes up is of the driver, we are all set.”

With the DMV picture being that of the driver, Perry issued a $35 fine to the car’s operator for not being in possession of a valid driver’s license while operating the vehicle, and a warning for speeding. After releasing the driver, the police record appeared showing no outstanding warrants, but 19 previous entries ranging from home invasion and larceny to possession of a class D substance with intent to distribute, and others.

“This record in itself wouldn’t have necessarily changed anything about the stop,” Perry said, “but it goes to show that you never do know who you are dealing with.”

A 12-year veteran of the force, Perry grew up in Bolton and Hudson, is a graduate of Hudson High School, and resides in Hudson.

“Many of the people on the force live in Hudson; our department is very active, with people who want to work,” Perry said. “The town is very lucky to have the department they have.”

Included on the force is Perry’s brother, Craig, who filled Perry’s detective position when Perry advanced to sergeant. Filled as civil service positions, all Hudson police officers are drawn from the reserve pool, and promotions are filled from within the department.

For those interested in a career in law enforcement, Perry has a specific suggestion:

“My advice in today’s policing is if you can, go to college and get a degree in criminal justice and start taking the [civil service] test,” Perry said. “It can be a long journey getting into the job. Get an education, start young, and don’t give up.”

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=8173

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