Tuesday, August 15, 2017

About Last Weekend

Chief Ed Moore was present at the Common Council tonight and spoke about the events that took place in the 500 block of State Street this past weekend. He described them as "targeted acts between people who know each other quite well, and people we [the HPD] know quite well." He noted that some of the people involved are related. He explained that the feud between the two groups had heightened "for unknown reasons" since May. On May 1, someone was shot on North Fifth Street. The exchange of gunfire on South Front Street on May 30 is believed to have been a retaliatory act for that shooting. The incidents this past Saturday and Sunday also stem from that feud.

After the incident on Saturday night, when a woman was seriously injured by one of several shots fired at the van she was driving on Rope Alley, HPD officers were on the street, but that did not prevent what happened on Sunday night, when a woman and two children were injured by gunfire. "The gunman just reached around the corner and emptied his gun," Moore explained. The fact that there were police officers on the street, Moore said, "tells me the people involved don't care."

Moore told those present at City Hall tonight that the state police forensic unit is examining the crime scene and the state police have reached out to federal agencies. The HPD has assigned extra patrols in the 500 block of State Street.

Gossips Addendum: In a comment on the post "Mayor Hamilton Comments," a commenter known as "unheimlich" warned that the Hudson Police Department "is now asking anyone who reports crimes for information the police have no business asking, such as people's birthdays." Tonight, Chief Moore told Gossips that he had been unaware of this practice, that after investigation he had learned that birth dates were being requested as a means of distinguishing the caller from others who might have the same name, and that the practice, from the time he became aware of it, has been discontinued.


  1. Thank you Chief Moore and thank you Gossips.

  2. that's odd --- 6 days ago I complained in an email to the Chief that I was asked too many questions at HPD when I reported my bicycle stolen. He cited SS# and DOB as questions "to make an official report" for everyone -- complainants, suspects, etc... So he was definitely aware his cops were asking for DOB and a whole lot more unnecessary and invasive questions.

    1. Thank you for mentioning that.

    2. Actually, wait ... your Social Security number?!

      Forgive me, but that's so much further down the slippery slope that I can hardly believe it. I'm sorry to express doubt in your word, especially as it appears you've used your own name, but if true then that is extremely serious!

      Is it true Chief?

  3. I try to limit my statements on social media. There was a time when a person had to be really sure of themselves before they attacked someone's character. Not so today. But at least Bill Huston used his real name. In response to all this...let me make a distinction. When a citizen calls HPD with a tip, or a complaint, they will no longer be asked for their date of birth. This was a practice I discovered after and listening to suggestions, and is now discontinued. When a person files a police report (car accident, assault, larceny of a bicycle) they will ALWAYS be asked to identify themselves with a date of birth...just like every police agency in America. Arrestees are asked for their social security number during the booking procedure. A victim or witness is asked for a social security number as further means of identification, but is not required to give it. Chief Moore

    1. Thanks, Chief. Hang in there. It's a big country!

  4. 1.

    Thank you, Chief Moore. This is exactly the clarification my neighbors and I had hoped for. I assure you it's not in vain.

    As I stated earlier, and in a different thread, two of the people who decided not to report the hours-long incident which preceded the Half Moon shooting by three days gave the reason for their reticence as the HPD's new interest in collecting personal information. This made them feel like suspects rather than the good people they are (despite the fact that they're merely renters, an odd self-perception of second-class status which deserves our attention).

    It goes without saying that this would be a safer community if more people were willing to report the crimes they witnessed. Keep in mind, though, that signs of disrespect for the law are a daily encounter in Hudson when you include the "lesser" infractions like littering, or uncollected dog feces, or loitering cars with deeply tinted windows (and when did tinted windows become okay in New York?).

  5. 2.

    In my opinion, citizens are failing their obligations to one another when they don't report such disrespect of our laws, but does the HPD really want all of those calls?

    If the answer is yes, then why won't anyone get back to me about a silver BMW, license plate GXC-767[_], which a half-dozen 1st Ward residents will attest has been dealing drugs just up from Front Street since winter, at least.

    I can't tell you how many times I've phoned in reports of obvious repeat drug-dealers parked in cars in any one of the City's alleys while they coordinate their imminent business in Hudson, but then had an HPD dispatcher tell me what this same person told me the last time I phoned: that people have a right to hang out in cars.

    At this point a caller is in the position of having to contradict the dispatcher, which means that good-faith citizens who are reporting suspicious activity suddenly find themselves in an adversarial position with the police! Result: less calls to the HPD.

    I hope you'll agree to inform your dispatchers about City Code §188-22, "Loitering in automobiles prohibited." In areas of high drug-dealing this "lesser" of statutes is invaluable to residents who often feel they're fighting heroin dealers entirely on their own, which often means confronting them personally.

    Without taking the greatest care, people are easily discouraged from reporting crimes to the HPD. This happens when an uneducated dispatcher replies to a caller with the observation that "people have a right to hang out in their cars," followed by an officer who seems as interested in collecting data on the public as pursuing the reported wrong-doing.

    I can tell you that it discourages me and others with whom I've discussed the matter, so the changes you're making are a great step in the right direction.

    (But the actuality is subtler still. I even wonder if it's unwise to write "uneducated dispatchers" above? Will that have unpleasant repercussions for me? Hopefully, this parenthetical alone will provide some insight into the complex relationship between the honest citizenry and law enforcement.)

    Naturally, good relations between citizens and law enforcement are key to a healthy community, and you've personally done so much to bring Hudson nearer to this elusive goal. I'm very grateful to you for that, but we have a ways to go. As with any relationship, it requires a continuous commitment by both parties to cultivate trust, and that can be a continuous challenge.

    Just keep in mind that you guys are carrying weapons!

    With that in mind, please consider the following. Like another writer above who was kicked out of the station for reporting a drug dealer (by a cop who is no longer on the force), I visited the HPD once with a female friend who was being followed by a creep everywhere she went. After the miscreant had taken to waiting outside her door for her to exit, I photographed him up close, and we brought the photo down to the station. The officer with whom we spoke immediately began with excuses: "after all, this is a 'City' with a population of ..." and he gave us an inflated number. I pointed out that it was now winter, and that his number should be lessened by several thousand. He exploded "Get out!!"

    That officer is still employed by the City of Hudson, earning his living off of my taxes.

    Now please tell me, have I made a serious error in judgement by telling this story publicly?

    I hope you can appreciate the almost invisible difficulties often faced by decent people in their relationship with law enforcement. On the other hand, I have no doubt that the police have their own exasperating stories to tell. Because all good people have the same goals relative to crime, I really believe we can and should be assisting one another. But we need to communicate at the same time that you're wearing a weapon. I hope you see what I mean.