Grafton. Central Massachusetts.
A quiet town, and we like to keep it that way.
We’ve enlisted some men to keep the traffic moving, the ruffians at bay, the ceremonial swords and drugs off our streets.
We call them the police.
And for them, we’ve built a fantastic state-of-the-art police station. It may seem an odd way to mark Christmas, but the Grafton Police Station actually was a pretty festive stop on the Grafton Celebrates the Holidays tour.
First of all, you have got to look at the dispatch center. Isn’t this cool when it’s not all behind glass and stuff?
So check this out. When a call comes in from 911 — and did you know cell phone technology is at the point where if you call from in town, they can pinpoint where you are based on the bounce off the cell tower? — it’s displayed on the screen and the address pops up on the map. This is just about instantaneous, which is a definite help when you want a police officer to get there sooner rather than later.
These screens here not only display inside the building — they also point cameras all around the station. The officer at dispatch said he could actually see the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through with the zoom on one of the cameras, which is pretty impressive.
Can you imagine anyone using any of these knives with a straight face? They’re a sampling of some of the sharp-and-pointy objects Grafton cops have had to confiscate over the years. They report that brass knuckles, purchased over the border in Rhode Island, appear to be making a comeback.
Luckily, the police have a few weapons of their own.
They also had a selection of illegal drugs, which weren’t put out as party favors — they had candy canes and cocoa — and they even let me touch the bags, which is my official explanation as to why my fingerprints are on the baggie of crack.
I’d never actually seen big pieces of crack before — they look like pieces of broken tile. Most of my drug busts — “my” here indicating news coverage, not actual arrests — involved big baggies of cocaine, heroin or marijuana.
And should you be caught with any of the above, you can expect to stop here, where you’ll be allowed to make your phone calls. The officer who brought me around the station notes that you can make as many calls as you want from this phone, as long as those calls are collect.
I also got to check out the basement, where officers can work out in their down time.
So just remember this when you see the flashing blue lights: our officers are well-armed, are collecting your fancy knives, and an invitation to go behind the scenes at the station probably means a visit to the holding tank instead of the basement weight room.
And here’s what they were up to last week: daily-log-12-6-08