God bless Greenwich cops

I’ve been known to squawk about our police force from time to time (and am probably about to do so again when I post about a tiny New Hampshire town’s force trying to buy a tank for crowd control) but lately we’ve been seeing them here for our problems, not the other way around. And they’ve been great.

Today my mother wandered away for awhile.  Pal Nancy found her safe and sound downstairs in Nancy’s house, two doors away, but despite searching there twice, we missed her for 2 1/2 hours. And during that time we had a flood of police officers searching for her – around here, at Binney Park, in Old Greenwich, all over. And they weren’t just cruising around, they were out of their cars, showing her picture to people and just doing everything they could.

When the excitement was over I tried to  apologize to one of the officers for causing such a ruckus but he said, “it had a happy ending – that’s all we wanted”. He said that with complete sincerity, so I thank him, all of his colleagues and the EMTs who arrived to check Ma out. And she’s fine – looked around at nine of us clustered around her in her living room and asked, “how did all these nice people get here?” I assured her that all she need do is call 911 and the nicest people in the world would appear. And I meant those words as sincerely as the young officer did his.

These guys’ behavior has improved considerably since I stopped using my cellphone while driving.

22 Comments

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22 responses to “God bless Greenwich cops

  1. EMS

    Hi Chris,
    After serving in the EMS system for over 20 years both here and in Colorado, I can honestly say that they are some of the nicest people in the world. I am proud to have served with many men and women, who are there for you, even if only to hold your hand.

    I am VERY glad that your mom was found safe and sound and hope that she will soon enjoy a sunny day out and about (with supervision, of course).

  2. Jane

    So happy to hear your mother is ok. And thank you for the lovely story.

  3. Walt

    Dude –
    I am glad Mom is ok. And it is nice to hear our police and EMS did such a nice job. Me thinks they are generally good folks.
    Getting old is hard. As you know, I have suffered Alzheimer’s for a very long time. It is a dreaded, misunderstood disease, and I find myself in numerous awkward situations because of it.
    I tend to wander into the Woman’s dressing rooms at the local malls. I don’t know why. Usually the bra and panty section for some unknown reason. I mind my own business, put the little white panties on my head, maybe dress up with a little white silky bra, go prance in front of a mirror to check out my hotness, and out of nowhere, all these chicks start freaking out. Why is that? Then sometimes, they call the police. I look my best in crotchless panties and white knee highs. What about you? But the police have always been professional, and I respect that.
    You off tomorrow?
    What am I talking about? You are off every day!! Brunch?
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  4. Riverside Dog Walker

    I am glad to see this post as I saw the EMS vehicle on your street earlier today. I am happy things are OK.

    A couple of years ago I came home from work and found Mrs. Dogwalker in medical distress. The 2 GPD police and EMS who came were great, especially GPD. In fact the same GPD who responded happened to be in the Greenwich Hospital emergency room later in the evening and checked in with us. Very professional and competent.

  5. Anonymous

    How frightening for all of you, I’m so happy your mother was found safe and sound.

    I’m sure you have these things in Connecticut too but in California you can set up doors with a “pool alarm” or you can set your whole house alarm to chime whenever a door is opened. No matter how devoted her children are, it’s nearly impossible for a couple of you to keep focused completely for 24 hours/day. You all need to be able to get some sleep without worrying that it could happen again. Sending continued wishes for your mother’s speedy recovery.

    The kindness of your police and EMS officers brought tears to my eyes.

  6. Anon

    I am so relieved that your mom was found. I am sure everyone was nervous. I know this is going to sound odd, but there is a chip you can put in your mother’s shoes, like runners have in a marathon. This chip is GPS so if your mother does wander again, you can follow the beeping shoe and find her. There is some discussion about actual chips in the human body, but I can’t imagine doing that to my own mother or father. The shoe thing sounds reasonable.
    http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20101015/HEALTH/10170306/Safety-afoot-via-GPS-Alzheimer-s-patients

  7. peeps

    Finally, a topic where I actually know about. A great site to help with keeping a person safe who wanders is Alzstore.com. They have things like a doormat you can put in front of your exit door that has an alarm when it’s stepped on. They also have sensors alarms with voice alerts for the caregiver, which will say things like, “mother has left through the front door” or Mother is in the kitchen”
    My mother has passed away, but about a year before she died she left the house to go look for my father and neighbors found her and called me. My mother couldn’t walk very far due to arthritis and was breaking down from pain when she was found. After that, I did extraordinary things to try to keep her safe at home, and that included pushing her bed up against a wall and sleeping behind her to make sure she didn’t get up and leave to look for my father while he was hospitalized. Other things were to make a lock very high up on doors to make sure she didn’t leave at night.
    The kind of things I did may seem like I went overboard, but people with dementia need to be monitored very carefully. Last summer, I had the sad experience of being part of an unsuccessful search party for Betty Iannerelli, in Irvington, NY. She was missing for weeks, and then her body was found where she had fallen behind a wall and seemed to have died from exposure after taking off for a walk in the middle of the night.
    When an elderly person takes off, it should be a warning to get the protection methods in place. Google Betty Iannerelli and you’ll see what I mean.
    A sad part of the story is that when we had private search parties out looking for Betty, we weren’t supposed to go on private property, and the area where she was found had been searched by the police’s search dogs. they just don’t pick up on her scent.

  8. CF, my mother-in-law wandered away from her retirement home here in Ridgefield three times, once during the winter. K-9 squad was called but it was one of the austere female cops who found her that time. Not so austere when dealing with my “second” mother. Wonderfully warm and humane more accurately describes how she gently coerced my mother-in-law, by then in a psychotic state, into her arms.

  9. peeps

    There are lots of typos in the above post and in many of my posts. Do you just scan them and post them, or can you make minor corrections for us. I hate to retype. Or, maybe there’s an editing icon I haven’t found that you can tell me about?

  10. Cos Cobber

    sorry to hear of the scare, but glad it had a happy ending. also glad to hear the gwich ems and police were so professional and helpful.

  11. Peg

    Glad Mom is OK. And yes – sometimes the cops are really “there” for us.

  12. Cobra

    Whew! Very, very glad all worked out OK.

  13. Cos Cob & Proud

    GO GPD!!!! God bless indeed.

    Chris, yours is an uplifting story- due to the happy and safe end result of course.

    IMHO – one of the MAJOR benefits of living in Greenwich is GPD.

    We blah blah blah about the schools -which year after year prove to be be statistically mediocre. Yet certainly there are the undeniably lovely parks & beaches and that all important proximity to NYC.

    But having lived in several surrounding “pretty” suburbs (plus other “safe and affluent” places around the country), one of the MAJOR reasons, I moved back to Cos Cob is the way I have ALWAYS been treated by the Greenwich Police Department. If you have ever been disrespected, scorned, or disregarded by a suburban (or urban) cop, for whatever reason, only then can you appreciate our GPD.

    I learned the hard painful way to appreciate what we have here. Especially because, like Chris, you never know when it will be YOUR family in need of assistance. NONE of my GPD interactions have been of a criminal nature (except as victim), so I cannot speak on any other level.

    But like me or Chris, needing the police for one reason or another can happen in a split second, i.e: a recent hit and run accident on East Putnam where the other driver hit my car, then just took off leaving my car damaged and me totally in shock in the left lane of a major traffic intersection. The assigned officer quickly got my car to a safe place, calmed me down so I could give him all the facts and then worked very hard to find the vehicle that hit me: immediately canvassing the nearby area to try to find a red pickup truck with front end damage, then spent time reviewing any video cameras from surrounding businesses that might have caught the incident on camera.

    Underpaid, overworked – I imagine that most officers need to work as much overtime as possible to supplement their regular salary to support their family. And still I wonder – probably less than what? – 5% maybe? – can afford to live in our town? So it is for us, you & me, that they put their lives on the line for, not their own ~ not where their own wives and children live.

    Beyond professionalism and respect, for which, as town employees and our first defenders, Greenwich police officers are paid by us to embody, we as town residents can rightfully expect that (though again I testify that that ain’t necessarily reality, regardless of town affluence!!!)~~every interaction I have had with GPD in my 25 years as an adult town resident has been met with the utmost respect (even knowing I’m from Cos Cob – ha hah!!) and with a very methodical manner that ultimately, thank God, resulted in justice.

    FYI: justice was served due to paintakingly and thorougly gathered evidence compiled by GPD to present to the prosecutor, quality evidence resulting in a warrant (issued only at the prosecutor’s discretion) arrest for the alleged (and for me/mine ultimately convicted) individual. Just in case any of your (most cynical readers) are wondering: I have NO personal connection – family or otherwise to GPD. Just complimementingt our town on one service that is actually top rate and one that I greatly appreciate.

  14. Out Looking In

    Wow! The “government” can provide a service more readily and at a much lower direct cost than the private sector? Hopefully you and the other tea baggers will drop a leaf or two out of the propaganda bag in honor of the day. Sometimes when we consistently rail against a subject, we overlook the occassional good that it is able to produce. Like helping you and your mother. Imagine if you had to locate and contact a private security company- or missing parent squad- each time you needed an extra set of eyes or two. You know that Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor anf the A-team of anti-government propaganda would have you drawn and quartered for your actions Chris! And they would simply let mom wander off in the name of austerity…just saying…your capitalist wall street buddy OLI

    • Are you really so clueless that you confuse the Tea Party’s call for limited government with one that doesn’t spend fifty trillion on every liberal wet dream they can invent?

  15. peeps

    Lost in my lengthy post is the main point I wanted to make, which is to check out the gadgets sold on the website Alzstore.com, and also to Google the story about Betty Iannerelli. She had left the apartment who shared with her daughter once before, but turned up early in the morning outside of a deli she liked. After that point, her daughter tried to be more careful, but some of these gadgets would have probably helped keep her inside at night.

  16. peeps

    Chris, did you mix up where you were posting? I think this is for the article above this one…the one about green jobs, right? Anyway, I am sooo glad that your mom made it back and is OK.

  17. Thanks for sharing that appreciation. I often say “Thank you” to police officers in a coffee shop or when ever I meet one. One of their own in Suffolk County is responsible for my being alive today. I will share a copy of your post when I do my daily ritual of checking the police blotter for stories and arrests. Would love to post your note on HamletHub, but will refrain.

  18. Anonymous

    I’ll echo the positive sentiment on GPD. We own a business in town and they have been exemplary in every way, coming out to provide advice for employees on security and how to respond to difficult situations. And when we’ve actually had a difficult situation or two, they’ve handled it superbly. I’ve chatted up a few officers here & there when walking around town, they’re always polite & professional.

  19. GPD Folf

    Christopher…Happy to hear that your Mom is OK…and a sincere thank you to everyone for their posts…..i agree these guys & gals do one heck of a job! There have been some posts from helpful readers about services to help families with loved ones who may wander…we have a similar service right here at GPD…I took the liberty to ask the guys who are responsible for it to contact you…Hope you don’t mind…also if there’s anything I can do personally …I’m pretty easy to find…Best!

  20. GPD Folk

    P.S. What the heck is a Folf? 🙂

  21. Luke Gardner

    I’m really glad to hear your mum is safe. Mine is in much the same circumstance having suffered her last and most debilitating stroke 6+ years ago. Now she lives with me and family, along with two care-takers, so roaming is not even a theoretical possibility. One panic inducer off the table.

    My observation has been that LEOs and EMTs are at their very best when they respond to incidents involving the weakest among us (meaning the disabled, old and infirm).