Extra police presence having an impact

Sat, 08/22/2020 - 4:30pm

What a difference a day makes, said the island’s first responders.

“Just drive around this island. Everyone is driving politely. Feel the atmosphere. It feels like a new island in just one day,” said Police Chief Vin Carlone on Saturday, Aug. 22.

The Block Island Times checked in with Carlone, Fire Chief Kirk Littlefield and Rescue Capt. Tracy Fredericks about 20 hours after a contingent of Rhode Island State Troopers drove off the ferry and started to do enhanced traffic enforcement.

The State Troopers have not been discriminating as to whom they are pulling over. Island residents and visitors alike were getting stopped and the word certainly spread. By Saturday afternoon, most drivers appeared to be adhering to the speed limit.

“It’s so relaxed — it feels like a different place,” said Carlone. “There are a lot of people here and yet everyone seems to be in a nice frame of mind.”

Carlone expressed thanks to State Police Col. James Manni and the traffic team that will be on the island for another day.

“We’re very fortunate to have this help,” said Carlone. The State Troopers are expected to be on-island until Sunday night, and will return on weekends until the end of the summer season.

Fredericks said that her team has been on a couple of medical related calls, but that as of late afternoon Saturday: “So far, so good.”

Both Fredericks and Littlefield said the island’s volunteer EMTs were once again getting much-needed assistance from the Disaster Management Assistance Team.

“It’s going good, for the most part. They’re doing a great job — both the island officers and the State Troopers,” said Littlefield.

But Littlefield also noted their approach to traffic enforcement: “They’re pulling everybody over,” he said.