Block Island will see increased State Trooper presence on weekends

To enforce traffic and alcohol issues
Mon, 08/17/2020 - 3:45pm

New Shoreham Police Chief Vin Carlone and State Police Col. James Manni today announced to The Block Island Times that there will be a significantly increased state trooper presence on Block Island this coming weekend and for every weekend for the remainder of the summer. Col. Manni is expected to be part of the contingent this weekend, which could be up to eight additional troopers.

Chief Carlone said the presence of the additional troopers will be to deal specifically with vehicular traffic — of all types — and alcohol enforcement, adding that troopers will be on duty “24/7.” There have been two traffic related fatalities in the past two weeks. One involving a single car on West Side Road and another involving a moped and an SUV on Saturday, Aug. 15.

“I’m the one who made this request of the state police,” Carlone told The Block Island Times today. “We are in emergency circumstances. It’s like a carnival gone awry and I don’t have the staff to deal with this.”

Carlone said the “the purpose of this is to end the summer safely. The purpose is to have everyone drive safely on Block Island, which will be accomplished this year.” Carlone added, “some people like to think of this as a moped problem, but it is a collective problem with mopeds, trucks, cars, all vehicles.”

He said this weekend’s enforcement actions will “set the bar for everyone to follow the rules. No exceptions.” The program will be evaluated and analyzed as part of future law enforcement programs on the island, Carlone said.

“It’s a damn shame we have to go to this extent, but it’s because some people can’t treat the island politely. There are some that do, but a significant portion do not,” he said.

Carlone ended by saying that when visitors come to Block Island, they should “just be polite.”

At the Town Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 17, First Warden Ken Lacoste said most of the cost of the troopers’ shifts will be covered, but the town may have to be some funds expended for housing the officers.

This is a developing story.