A day with the Barkhamsted Resident State Trooper
Below is a look at a typical day on the job with the Barkhamsted Resident Trooper. First some background. On May 5, 1999 the town budget of about $7 million was approved which included a line item of $65,000 to fund a resident State trooper in the town of Barkhamsted. The resident trooper question was the primary issue of the town meeting, which drew about one hundred residents.
Before 1999 the town of Barkhamsted was covered solely by State Police based at Troop B in North Canaan. Since the late 1980s there had been some support for upgrading town police coverage to the resident state trooper program. A resident trooper is based in town and will focus attention on the town, although emergencies may call the trooper outside of the town.
During the 1990s the resident trooper question was twice voted down in town meetings, but finally on May 5, 1999 after a spirited debate, a show of hands produced a substantial majority in favor of keeping the $65,000 budget item and funding the resident trooper. The money would cover office expense and 70% of the troopers salary, with the State picking up the remaining 30%. Those voting for the issue cited speeding on town roads, an increase in burglaries in town and state police response time as issues. Those voting against expressed cost/benefit concerns. The resident State Trooper program was implemented in Barkhamsted in July 1999.
And now, take a ride with Resident Trooper John Bement:
A day in the life of the Barkhamsted Resident Trooper. The day is Tuesday, February 29, 2000 and the time is 0700 hours. The first course of business is to once again address the early morning traffic on Goose Green Road. The speed limit of 35 mph was enforced with the use of radar. Two individuals were stopped and given infractions for traveling too fast for the posted speed limit.
Following that activity I proceeded to the Resident Trooper office located next to the First Selectman s office in Barkhamsted Town Hall. I checked my voice mail for current messages. The phone system of the office has been set up to forward all calls to Troop B after four rings. The residents of Barkhamsted would either get myself or in the case I am off duty they would speak to a Trooper at Troop B which is located in North Canaan.
I reviewed the seat belt enforcement plan that I was initiating for Thursday March 2, 2000. The seat belt enforcement was in conjunction with a statewide seatbelt enforcement campaign sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Vehicles would be checked for compliance of the current seatbelt regulations, especially the law as it pertains to children.
I returned several phone calls relating to current investigations of my own and of Barkhamsted investigations conducted by fellow Troopers. Supplemental reports regarding those investigations were completed and then arrangements made with Troop B to relay those reports to the Troop for administrative review and filing.
I then prepared for the scheduled March 1, 2000 meeting with the Resident Trooper Review Committee. I put together data that would be of use for this committee. The committee was established to review the Resident Trooper Program in Barkhamsted. The program was established on July 2, 1999. I was looking forward to that meeting to share with the committee the accomplishments of the program since inception.
Following lunch I made a patrol check of the area. The South Road and Ratlum Road area was patrolled. I proceeded to the West Hill area and drove around on the secondary roads for about an hour. I then proceeded to Old New Hartford Road to be highly visible when the school buses and students leave Regional #7 High School to head home.
I then proceeded back to the office and checked the voice mail for messages once again. I reviewed the notes for the Northwest Council on Youth Violence Prevention and School Safety meeting that was scheduled for this evening at Regional #7 High School. I am a member of the committee working (with other members) to establish the framework for a universal Emergency Response Plan to be implemented within all the area schools. The committee also was completing a Prevention-Intervention Crises Response Plan.
I noticed the time was about 1600 hours- time to head home. The meeting wasn t scheduled until 1900 hours so I had time to visit with my family before returning for the meeting.
Tfc John R. Bement
Barkhamsted Resident Trooper
Connecticut State Police
back to Town Diary page