The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 14, 2009


Hats off to the Carlisle Police

These may be the lazy, slow days of summer for many in Carlisle, but certainly not for the Police Department. One might assume that at this time of year things would be quiet for the police and a large part of their day would be filled with routine tasks. Instead, the past month has been challenging, and the department has handled a number of serious calls – a knife assault on July 17, domestic assault and battery on July 28, a manhunt August 7, a resident found with a gunshot wound on August 6 and an escalating number of robberies. Break-ins have been recently reported on Martin Street, Ember Lane, School Street and Cross Street (see also Police Log and articles). In at least two situations, a rapid response was necessary in order to either rescue an ill individual or apprehend suspects fleeing the scene of a crime.

While these types of cases are fortunately not the norm, police officers never know when something like checking a 911-hangup call or pulling over an erratic driver will quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

Besides nerves of steel, Carlisle’s police officers may also need an affinity for animals and a sense of humor. In between high-pressure events, house checks and speeding tickets, the summer’s logs show they also returned cows to their pasture (July 24) checked for coyotes sighted on Acton Street (July 24) and investigated a report of a turtle in the road (August 1). Is there such a thing as a “routine” day for police in a small town like Carlisle?

The community counts on the police to act promptly, calmly and professionally under all kinds of circumstances. Residents are very lucky to have the people on the police force helping the town. ∆

City mouse

For all intents and purposes, I have never lived in the city. I grew up in a small town outside of Peoria (which is in itself redundant), and went to college in the countryside of upstate New York. (Law school in Cambridge could count, if you want to call that living.) Our first house was in Arlington, and we later moved to North Reading in search of more elbow room. About 17 years ago we built the Carlisle house that we knew would always be “home” to our two sons.

For me, that was a matter of choice, or even conviction. I grudgingly endured time spent in the city, as an evil necessitated by work.

Karen, by contrast, was a city kid born and raised. While she willingly accommodated my desire for open space, she offered frequent commentary on the benefits of urban dwelling. But even she eventually succumbed to the wiles of Carlisle.

Four months into our new place in the city, we are surprised at how easily we have adjusted.

First and foremost among the contrasts is the commute. When we drive, we are ten minutes from work. There is a T station across the street. In Carlisle, we needed to take two cars out of the garage even when I took the train, since I could not be assured of a way home from the train station if Karen got tied up at work. On many mornings now, I drive Karen’s car in, with a change of clothes for her, while she walks briskly for exercise; on the homebound side we either drive together or I take the T.

The choice of restaurants in the area seems infinite. And there is takeout. On our second night in the new place we were running late, and didn’t want either to cook or go out. I looked up places that would deliver, and we shortly had the best sushi we had ever eaten.

For a country feel, there is a park across the street, and wild turkeys gather in the yard out front. On sunny mornings we can go for a walk along the river.

Of course the transition is not entirely seamless. We are still figuring out where to put all the stuff from the old place – and that is after getting rid of literally tons of accumulated detritus. When visitors arrive, we must help them figure out what to do with their car.

It is also different having so many other people around. It is nice to exchange pleasantries with neighbors, either in the common room, the elevator or on the way in or out of the building. But the proximity of our neighbors made getting window shades in the new place a somewhat urgent matter; in Carlisle, window treatments were far more a matter of decoration than of privacy (or public decency).

Carlisle will always be our family’s “hometown.” But we have moved on, and so far, so good. Goodbye, and thanks for listening.

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© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito