Lloyd Police Chief James Janso said his department received 2,326 calls for service in August, a figure he said is “a lot,” due in part to current attitudes in the country toward law enforcement.
“We have half of our police force living in the Town of Lloyd right now, more than in my 30 years, and we found out that we’ve been targeted,” he said. “They’re following police officers home, they’re marking our cars and it has happened to our officers here, so I’ve mandated patrols of our officers homes, I didn’t have any choice here...If we can’t protect our guys you’re not going to have a police force. It’s pretty horrible what we’re up against right now.”
Janso explained the role of his department.
“If you say you’re pro law enforcement, you’re anti something else then [but] it can’t be further from the truth. We’re the last line of defense for towns, cities and villages so I applaud you guys for standing up for us, it means a lot,” he said.
Chief Janso urged the board and the public, “to be our eyes and ears and your neighbors eyes and ears” during these challenging times. He said he takes these incident personally, “so I have to make sure our officers are protected as well as the community.”
Janso continued with his monthly report: there were 29 accidents, 9 parking tickets and 69 Uniform Traffic Tickets issued. He said there were 18 arrests, slightly higher than in previous months because there are more domestic disturbances, more people outside and the courts have reopened.
Chief Janso said the department has restarted their Alzheimer’s Identification Bracelet program. They have purchased purple bracelets (the stated color of the ALZ Association) that are given out free to individuals who are suffering from the late stages of the disease and who have the potential of walking or wandering away from their loved ones. In August three were engraved with names and contact phone numbers and were given to area residents who requested them.
On August 21, Janso, Lt. Phil Roloson, Sgts. Ventura and Kalimaras attended a Procedural Justice Training program at the Dutchess County Police Academy.
“This is a new way of policing that the Governor is mandating [but] to us it’s not new, we’ve done it all along,” he said. “Procedural Justice is being fair in the process, being transparent in actions, providing the opportunity for somebody’s voice to be heard and being impartial in decision making. That’s what we do, we’re cops, that’s what we’re supposed to do. That is not new to us, but it just reiterates why we took our jobs.”
On August 24, the department received a $2,500 grant in addition to their usual amount they receive annually from the Ulster County STOP DWI to be used in 2020-21 for DWI enforcement.
“We’ll be out in force probably from Labor Day until the end of the year,” he said.
On August 25, Janso and Lt. Roloson attended the unveiling of the Sojourner Truth statue at the Ulster Welcome Center at the Walkway Over The Hudson. In addition, Lt. Roloson assisted in Harassment Training that is mandated for town employees.
On August 28 Janso, Roloson, Kalimaras and Ventura attended an Implicit Bias Training session, also at the Dutchess Police Academy. Implicit Bias is the automatic associations and stereotypes that are made about individuals and groups of people and how it can influence policing.
“Again you go back to policing 101, you treat everybody the same,” he said. “This reiterates how the Governor wants policing to take place and yet for us it’s not a problem. I’m proud of my department and how we’ve operated all these years. We’re not New York City and we’re not Minnesota by any stretch of the imagination. So rest assured we’re going to keep pushing forward our agenda on how we train all our members in Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias as Lloyd Police continue to train and educate its members with regards to reforming our department policies and policing methods.”
The department will be sponsoring a car, truck & bike show on Saturday, September 26 at the Bridgeview Plaza Shopping center as a fundraiser for the department’s PBA. The money raised will be used to support youth sports and to assist local families in need.
Councilwoman Claire Winslow spoke for herself and the Town Board.
“You know how I feel about you guys anyhow, and you do a great job; anything we can do for you guys and I know we all feel the same way. We have your back,” she said.
Janso informed the board that he expects a lawsuit will be filed by the police union to challenge a law enacted by the Governor that allows the release of personal information about officers through a Freedom Of Information request. Janso asked why this is allowed when you can’t get a hospital to provide information on a patient.
“So why are we different; it shouldn’t be,” Janso said, adding that he never thought people would go to such lengths to check out an officer’s home and routine in order to “come back and do something later.”