Troopers on Patrol
This week's message takes us to Troops F and K.
On October 29, 2011, Troopers Phillip N. Hall and Timothy M. Dymond, SP Liberty, responded to a Sullivan County 911 poll for a fight in progress at an apartment in Livingston Manor. Upon arrival, the troopers knocked on one of the tenants' door and immediately noticed a strong odor of marihuana emanating from the opened apartment. The troopers explained they were there for a fight in the area and asked to come inside the apartment to discuss the matter. The homeowner agreed to let the troopers in and upon entering, the smell of marihuana intensified. The homeowner and her husband told the troopers that they were not involved in a fight, and although they had heard something outside, they hadn't seen anything. Conversation about the strong odor of marihuana led to the husband producing two plastic bags of marihuana, weighing approximately an ounce.
Further questioning of the husband and wife produced conflicting stories, causing the troopers to ask permission to search the residence. A signed written consent was obtained, and approximately 89 bags of marihuana were found, along with $400 dollars in cash and assorted packaging materials.
The husband ultimately admitted ownership of the marihuana, and he was charged with Criminal Possession of Marihuana 3rd Degree (E felony).
On October 29, 2011, the Mid-Hudson Valley experienced an unseasonal snowstorm, with several areas experiencing more than 12 inches of accumulation. Snowfall rates in excess of 2 inches an hour resulted in numerous downed trees and power lines. Sections of Interstate 84 and the Taconic State Parkway, two major commuter roadways that traverse the troop and connect the tri-state area and New York City, became impassable. As a result, plans to close and evacuate those roadways were implemented. Troop K members were assisted by Special Operations Response Team (SORT) personnel utilizing their Bearcat, as well as Troop T members utilizing Division snowmobiles, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office ATV Unit, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
These members checked on the stranded motorists, provided food and blankets, and actively removed nearly 100 vehicles from roadways and ditches. Due to the unique circumstances and significant demands, Division personnel also transported nearly as many people to local hotels and fire departments for shelter. To expedite recovery remediation efforts, numerous members took it upon themselves to utilize personal chain saws to clear tree limbs and make many area roadways passable. At one point, a sergeant had to utilize the Troop "K" plow vehicle, the last four-wheel drive vehicle available in Troop "K," to respond to assist with the evacuation. He subsequently plowed almost five miles of the Taconic State Parkway, clearing the way for stranded motorists and facilitating the removal of numerous vehicles that had been abandoned in the roadway. Additionally, this sergeant plowed the parking lot of a nearby State Park so it could be utilized to store the dozens of abandoned vehicles removed from the parkway.
The only two radio control points in Troop "K" Headquarters and the Traffic Management Center simultaneously handled all calls for service, as well as the associated emergency dispatching throughout the entire troop for the duration of this emergency. Under the most adverse of conditions, the personnel assigned to these sections became an integral part of the Division's successful response to this severe storm.
While many motorists found themselves in the undesirable position of being stuck on a major roadway during the middle of an intense snowstorm, our members took the initiative to go above their normal duties and utilize resources from various agencies to ensure the safety of those in need.