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This past Tuesday was the 35th Annual National Night Out – one of the largest crime prevention events held here and across the country. In conjunction with the Town, Bethlehem’s Police, Fire, and EMS personnel marked the occasion by once again hosting an informative, fun, and family-friendly event at the Elm Avenue Park. For many residents, this annual event is the only interaction they will have with their local first responders. With that said, we should not forget what these folks do for us and our community throughout the year.
As they always do, our local EMS and volunteer fire personnel answered a multitude of calls and provided critical aid throughout the community over the past year. No questions asked. No recognition requested. They simply served the community. These are your friends and neighbors for whom the norm is doing the extraordinary every day. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a more selfless group of men and women. The door to new volunteer firefighters and EMTs is always open and new members welcome.
Assisting our EMS and volunteer firefighters on many calls are members from the Bethlehem Police Department who serve our community and keep our families safe every minute of every day, including those holidays most of us get to enjoy with our friends and loved ones. They respond to thousands of calls throughout the year, protect our school children, testify in court, transport prisoners, patrol our streets, investigate crimes, and provide the D.A.R.E. program in our elementary schools. The list of all that our police officers do is almost endless, however, Letters to the Editor are limited to 500 words or less, so I will simply highlight a few cases from the last two weeks.
Bethlehem has a relatively quiet and peaceful reputation, however, there are always a few folks looking to spoil that. Thankfully, we have some excellent men and women in blue that aren’t about to let that happen. For example, with the assistance of the Troy Police Department, three suspects believed to be involved in an armed home invasion on Orchard Street were swiftly taken into custody. Several days later, a pair from the Bronx was accused of attempting to use counterfeit $100 bills at the Delmar CVS. They didn’t make it far before their vehicle was stopped and they were arrested by Bethlehem’s finest. Another recent vehicle stop in Slingerlands led to the arrest of a man in possession of wigs and various disguises. That individual is accused of stealing credit cards and is being investigated in regard to a larger ring of crimes across New York State. Finally, on a more positive note, on July 27, Bethlehem Police assisted in locating and reuniting a missing Delmar man with his family.
Thanks to the vigilance, professionalism, and compassion of our officers, the Bethlehem Police Department has done an outstanding job policing our community and honoring the spirit of National Night Out. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Editor’s note: Jim Foster also sits on the Bethlehem Town Board