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Richmond PD busy at Washington County Fair

September 4, 2011

RICHMOND - Richmond police officers had little chance to rest at last month’s Washington County Fair, racking up a whopping 33 arrests in just four days.

The fair lasted from August 17 - 21 and all of the arrests were made on the first four days, making it the busiest week for the department this year, according to Police Chief Elwood Johnson.

“This is by far the busiest week we’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said. Johnson became the chief of Richmond Police in 2010.

The majority of the arrests were for offenses that involved alcohol or drugs. The most common charges were public drinking, possession of marijuana and possession of alcohol by minor. Johnson acknowledged that alcohol, marijuana and juveniles were the cause of most of the police activity at the fair.

“The Washington County Fair Committee determines the rules, they are consistent with our ordinances, and it is our job to enforce them,” he said. “When you look at the public drinking, is it an egregious act? No, but it’s a violation.”

“There was an estimated 40,000 people there Saturday,” Johnson continued. “It was a hot summer day, you have a lot of young people, when someone uses impaired judgment, they can make poor choices which leads to unruly behavior. People behave differently when they’re impaired, they can be loud, boisterous and obnoxious.”

Johnson said that Richmond Police had four or five officers patrolling the parking lot, up to five stationary posts inside the fair, and an additional three or four officers on Route 112 near the entrance and the off-site parking area. He was proud of the force for their increased efforts during the fair.

“The officers stepped up, I can’t say enough about the good work these guy did. The town of Richmond should be very proud of the people they have protecting them,” he said.

For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.

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alternate thinking

September 6, 2011 by mdefedele, 4 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 150

I understand the rules, and follow them, and think everyone should however I can't imagine the police force needed to make 33 slap on the hand arrests. The paperwork alone must be ridiculous. Wouldn't it be a better use of time and dollars to allow drinking at the fair and put up a few beer gardens? People generally will follow the rules and drink responsibly. The police force could be used instead to ensure the irresponsible drinkers get charged for actually being irresponsible. When you look at large fairs in the northeast you almost always see this so I'm not sure why washington county hasn't gotten their hands in the money pot that alcohol creates. The big E which is probably 4 times the size of washington county and lasts 3 weekends doesn't seem to have issues and there are beer stands at every corner. Not to mention the fact that at 7 dollars a cup most people don't over drink and there is most likely a 300% profit in it for the fair. Maybe they'd be able to lower the tag for admission or the high cost of rides for the kids.....Just my 2 cents....either way I had a great time this year and will continue to attend every year here on out.


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