The Block Island Times

Word on the Street

By Gloria S. Redlich | Jan 21, 2014

Periodically, The Block Island Times goes into the community to learn what islanders are thinking about. This week we began by asking people to comment on Police Chief Vincent Carlone’s proposal to add a “canine unit” to the New Shoreham Police Department. Most of those we spoke with addressed the question more or less seriously; for a few others it was not the most important thing on their minds, as some of the following comments reflect.

Question: Is a new police dog a good idea?

For Willis Dodge, the notion did not seem to be of immediate importance. Initially describing it as “a waste of money,” he relented some, noting with a twinkle in his eye, “Well, someone’s got to protect the cops.”

Taking the idea a bit more seriously, a man who preferred to remain anonymous added, “I’m assuming this dog is a drug dog. I think that it would be good to have here. I think it’s a good idea.”

Jeanne Latva, below, who lives with her husband on-island 10 months of the year, embraced the proposal: “It’s an absolutely terrific idea,” she said, “because a dog can do what a person can’t.” She was concerned about situations “particularly in the summertime, because there are so many people here, and I think once they know [a dog] is here, it will make them think twice before bringing out things they shouldn’t.” She added, “It would be terrific protection and help for the police.”

Another man choosing not to share his name said, “I like dogs, but to be honest, I question the need and the cost of it. My sense is that we don’t have that many missing persons.” However, acknowledging that some people on island have been hurt by involvement with drugs, he agreed with the use of canines on one level: “I think it would deter people from bringing drugs to the island. Even if a dog is just present when people come off the ferry, it could be a deterrent.”

Favoring the plan, Eileen Miller, below, said, “I like the idea. This is a dog-oriented place. If a dog can help with stopping drugs from coming to the island and with finding missing persons, I’m all for it.”

Found at work at Block Island Realty, Julie Garosshen, below, had other things on her mind: “I’m more concerned right now about the Beach House [Pavilion]; that’s our biggest priority here,” she said. “Our entire tourist industry depends on how we [take care] of the Beach House.” She felt if the town neglected it, it would be a “poor representation of our town and of our beach facilities.” She added, “Is this the image we want to project to our visitors?”

Jeanne Latva (Photo by: Gloria Redlich)
Eileen Miller (Photo by: Gloria Redlich)
Julie Garosshen (Photo by: Gloria Redlich)
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