Log of events from a ride along with Hagerstown Citizens on Patrol

August 13, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • Hagerstown Citizens on Patrol members Paul Hammann and Kay Fowler patrol in the north end of Hagerstown Friday night.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

The Herald-Mail rode along with Hagerstown Citizens on Patrol, taking a seat in the command car on July 30.

The night proved to be a generally uneventful patrol for the four citizens patrol vehicles, concentrated in the North End, members said. The command vehicle, however, was dispatched to several calls across the city.

The following is a partial log of the events of that night between the hours of 8:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on July 30 and 31. Times are approximate based on the reporter's notes, the command car log and the Hagerstown Police Department.

8:45 p.m., Fairgrounds Park

The Hagerstown Citizens on Patrol members met at the Police Athletic League building, where they keep an office and their vehicles. Nine members arrived for the patrol.

Members were put into pairs, a driver and a recorder — with the exception of the one member who would ride in the command car with a sworn officer — and they departed in four marked cruisers for Hagerstown Police Department headquarters on Burhans Boulevard

9 p.m., Hagerstown Police Department

HPD Officer Ron Isaacs briefed the Hagerstown Citizens on Patrol on a series of crimes happening in the city's North End near Magnolia, East Irvin and Northern avenues.

"We have been having a lot of issues up there with people breaking into cars, sheds," he said. "If you guys can, just flood that area."

9:10 p.m., Streets of Hagerstown

The four citizens patrol vehicles and the command car, driven by Isaacs, made their way to the North End.

"We just ride around, look for things out of the ordinary," said Isaacs, who added that he does not often get this assignment.

9:40 p.m., West Washington Street

The command car was called to West Washington Street, where a man was seen lying in the alleyway near a laundry. Isaacs and another HPD officer approached the man, who was flat on his back, only partially clothed. The officers woke and questioned the man. From 20 feet away, the scent of alcohol could be detected. Officers checked the man's license, then told him to walk home.

10 p.m., Hagerstown City Park

While driving in City Park at closing, Isaacs approached two parked vehicles and advised those in the vehicles of the park hours, which had just ended for the day. Two men in the gazebo near Digby parking lot also were advised of the hours by Isaacs and another HPD officer after their licenses were checked by the officers.

10:15 p.m., West Washington Street

The command car was called to an apartment on West Washington Street for a reported assault in progress between roommates. Isaacs and another officer entered the apartment and left a few minutes later. The roommates were arguing, but no assault occurred, according to police records.

*10:30 p.m., Noland Village

The command car was called to Noland Village to assist on a call for a woman refusing to leave her vehicle, which was being repossessed. Isaacs joined a K-9 unit and another HPD unit on the scene. The woman eventually got out of the vehicle and emptied it of her possessions before it was driven away.

10:55 p.m., North Potomac Street

One of the four Citizens on Patrol cars was stopped by the driver of a disabled vehicle. The citizens radioed the command car asking if anyone had jumper cables. Isaacs advised that the Citizens on Patrol are not AAA or a similar service and should not attempt to restart the disabled vehicle.

11 p.m., North Potomac Street

While driving south on North Potomac Street, the command car encountered a vehicle blocking the left lane. An HPD officer was attempting to address the situation. In a parking space on the left shoulder was a disabled vehicle. Isaacs observed a woman near the vehicle being uncooperative.

"Is there something you want to say, ma'am?" he asked her. The vehicle that was blocking the left lane was moved to the shoulder.

11:30 p.m., North Prospect Street

Citizens on Patrol reported suspicious activity on North Prospect Street near the former M.P. Moller building. A vehicle was observed blocking the street and it appeared as if there was a dispute involving a flat-screen television. Upon approaching the double-parked vehicle, Isaacs asked a man on the street, "What's going on here?" The man told Isaacs that they were trying to load the large television into the trunk of a car.

12 a.m., Chestnut Street

The command car was called to Chestnut Street for a disturbance. Isaacs and a backup officer separated the disputing parties. One party got into a car and drove from the scene. The officers talked briefly to the remaining party.  

12:10 a.m., Doub's Woods Park

While driving in the area of Maryland Avenue and the South End Shopping Center, Isaacs spotted a man and a woman in Doub's Woods Park after closing. He and a second HPD officer approached the two people, checked their licenses and advised them of the park hours.

12:35 a.m., Fairgrounds Park

The Citizens Patrol returned to Fairgrounds Park.

* The command car log listed this incident at 11:50 p.m. Hagerstown Police Department Chief Arthur Smith said the only record of response for the command car was entered at 10:23 p.m. However, no additional information was recorded by police for the incident, Smith said.

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