That was the biggest news that Northfield ever had and every year around September 7th the town celebrates the Defeat of Jesse James Days. About one hundred years later I was listening to the radio, another newfangled invention, and heard a voice that would become familiar to many people on the continent. It was Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion back when you could go to the World Theater in St. Paul, wait in line for ten minutes, and for a buck you could get in and see the show.
One of the segments of that show was Garrison reading the law enforcement report from the Northfield News. One of the most common reasons the police were called was because keys were locked in a car. The reason that this was such an eyebrow raiser was that not many people locked their cars back then and when they did it was usually by mistake, hence the keys were in the vehicle.
In a small town many folks recognize each other by the cars or trucks they drive and since it is a small town every one knows everyone else's business. Most people leave their keys in the car in case someone needs to borrow it. If you leave your purse or wallet on the front seat and someone takes it the merchants at the shops will recognize who the object belongs to. This is a great deterrent and keeps the crime rate low.
Here in Cook County we have a permanent population of just over 5000. In the town of Grand Marais, the social and cultural hub of the county, we have about 1150 souls if everyone stays home and doesn't seek adventure in the larger cities of Silver Bay or Two Harbors which are just down the shore about 50 and 90 miles respectively. If they head the other direction to Thunder Bay, Ontario, they need to bring a passport in order to get back into the U.S. Lately, I have heard some people are headed that way and don't bother with a passport, but I digress.
I wanted to give you all some examples of our Law Enforcement Report which appears weekly in our local
Maybe a guy needs help with his carburetor.
911 hang up. Turned out to be a misdial. No emergency
They meant to dial a 1-900 number.
Pick up sentence-to-serve inmate and return to jail.
If your prisoners are going to work they will need a ride.
I thought school was released every day about the same time.
Traffic stop, warning given.
Don't do that again!
Century Link is doing some troubleshooting on the hospital phone lines.
This is a police matter?
They get lonely behind bars.
Vehicle stopped on roadside.
Better than stopping in the middle of the road.
Party reported snow on the Ski Hill Rd, cannot get to Eagle Ridge.
Someone please come and shovel the road in front of me.
Police car out of gas.
Out with person walking on the side of the road.
The person seemed to need some company.
Saw activity at store, was an employee.
Well, in all fairness, it was 3:30 in the morning.
Reporting the sled dog crossing does not give enough warning.
I need more time to plan my sled dog watching.
80-year-old needs medical help.
By the time I'm 80 I'll need medical help, too.
Party turned self in on Cook County warrant.
I didn't want you to have to go to the trouble of picking me up at home.
Found stray cat.
Maybe it wanted to be stray.
92-year-old needs medical help.
Must be the 80-year-old's older brother.
Would like deputy to call back.
It gets lonely here in the winter.
That is just a small example of what our police department gets called to check on during a typical day or two. There is sometimes something more serious, so it is good that they are trained and prepared. They also don't put everything in these public reports. We did have an actual crime last week where someone broke into one of the laundromats and stole quite a bit of money. As you would expect, it was almost all in quarters.