The local police blotter has always been something from which I can’t look away. Particularly in smaller towns, there’s no better way to get the temperature of a community.
Years ago, MPR carried a segment with the police chief of Bovey reading a sample of his department’s calls, based on the good chief’s newspaper column. The late Terry Wilkey started each column, as former MPR reporter Catherine Winter recalled, “with a suggestion that know-it-alls should not read his words because they might overtax their minds. Each column ended with the advice, ‘Lock that door and get that license number.'”
I think often about Chief Wilkey when I read some of the blotter items from either the Woodbury Bulletin or the Woodbury Patch. These two come from the latter. What would Chief Wilkey do?
Police were called about a dispute between neighbors–one accused the other of shoveling snow onto her yard. An officer made contact with both and tried to mediate the situation. One appeared willing to do so; the other did not. The officer noticed that the person who was unwilling to make amends had a sign in a window that read: “Merry X-Mas Ass” with an arrow pointing to the other home.
Sometimes, the shortest items can be too revealing about a community:
Police were called about an individual who did not appear to be a “normal clean-cut Woodbury person” in the Ashley Furniture parking lot. Police found no issues.