Have you ever wondered how your tax dollars are spent in on your behalf in America? Are you someone who do not depend on Government for hand-outs?

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Here’s one way !

Last Friday evening my wife called me late in the evening I was close to going home from work , which I always do at when possible. She said ” Babe I just want you to know Bud disappeared and the police has him we won’t get him back until tomorrow”.

I was stunned, Bud is a black Lab we acquired, he is still young, not yet a year old, even though his size belies his age. This little puppy had wormed his way into our hearts from day one. On the day we went to pick up a puppy from the litter, he latched onto me, tugging at my sneaker laces, he didn’t stop until the entire litter joined in, they had me encircled while they all tugged at my laces and the legs of my sweat pants. My wife had her heart set on another puppy with brown markings but Bud’s tenacity forced her to change her mind, Bud decided he was going to be a part of our family. My wife was dutiful with every requirement to owning a dog in the Town of Poughkeepsie, stuff I wasn’t even conversant with, she did and she made sure she dotted all the “I'”s and crossed all the “T”‘s .

On my arrival home she told me Bud went outside with our sons and disappeared, she called but he did not respond, she drove around the neighborhood but there was no sign of him. So she decided to call the Town of Poughkeepsie Police. They confirmed that someone had called that there was a strange dog in their back-yard, and an officer had responded and retrieved our dog, but we would not be able to pick him up until the next day which was Saturday April 27th.


This is what residents pay for !

We were distraught we figured he must be terrified , he had never been away from us in his short life, we were particularly worried for him especially in light of how he was removed by the cops. We settled into Friday night with resignation that it was out of our hands. They said we could pick up our dog on Saturday, pay whatever fees we were required to pay and so we prepared for that.

We did not sleep much Friday night, personally I did not know that I could care so much about a dog. Lets face it we Jamaicans are not necessarily all love-dovey with dogs.

We were told by the Police that the animal warden would be in at seven on Saturday, so dutifully Saturday morning my wife called to say we would be heading down to the precinct to collect our dog, or so we thought.

Well not so fast Sargent Wagner told her that wasn’t going to happen, the warden would not be coming in until Monday April 29th, so Bud would have to stay in their custody for the weekend. You thought that was horrific for that young dog? Well it gets worse we would have to pay for the days that the dog was held by them, despite it is their warden who decided she wouldn’t come in on the weekend.

That pretty much decided the quality of my week-end, Monday morning we gathered up everything, leash and all of Bud’s paperwork and went to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police to collect our dog, of course Sargent Wagner was on duty again, yup ! a Sargent mans the front desk, I will have to research how much they receive from us the bilked taxpayers. Wagner told us we wouldn’t be getting our dog because the warden had called in sick, so it was now Tuesday before we get our dog. Normally I am volatile and my wife is calm, I realized that my wife a nice sweet woman was on the verge, so I secretly begged her not to give them the satisfaction. I decided we were not going to be treated the way Police in America treats black people, and neither would we do what they expect us to do.

So Wagner brought out another Sargent to tell us pretty much what he had just told us, so now it’s two Sargents  just to release our dog to us. This Jicha fellow was pretty much the schmuck that Wagner was, just a little more reprehensible. We had heard enough, I called a Lawyer friend of mine, but we decided to make one more stop before heading to his office. We waited at the offices of the Town Supervisor for a little until he arrived for work. Supervisor Tancredi invited us into his office , he was very cordial, responsive and understanding, we waited as he tried to call the Police Chief, no answer. He tried getting one of the Captains , none answered their phones. So he was left with Wagner at the front desk. Supervisor Tancredi seemed visibly embarrassed that at minutes to 9 :am there was no way of reaching the top tier of law enforcement in the Town, I whispered to my wife “what if there is a serious emergency which requires their presence and direction”? Mister Tancredi took my wife’s number and promised to get back to us, I went to work. Wagner called and told my wife that Bud could be picked up at an animal Hospital, Todd Tancredi had done his job. Wagner told my wife we would be required to pay over $270.00 in fees in order to retrieve our dog. My wife went to the Town Clerk’s office to pay the fees, the clerk had no paper-work from neither Wagner or Jicha, she calculated the fees which amounted to $254.oo.

Wagner and Jicha couldn’t even compute the fees correctly.

♦ Board $72.00.

♦ Shots $107.oo (dog has all it’s shots none was needed).

♦ Seizure $75.00 (despite the salary we pay the cops we have to pay again for them to actually do what we already paid for).

♦ Total $254.00.

Our property and school taxes for the Town of Poughkeepsie is a couple hundred dollars less than $10’000 annually, the only service the Police Department in our Town offers to residents other than hiding in bushes to write tickets is bad attitude.

So we took our dog home , thank God he seem ok , problem solved right? Well not so fast, of course Tuesday morning the warden showed up for work and of course she called my wife , it is automatic that despite being extorted and fleeced of $254 , the Town was not finished, we would be issued with two tickets, I mean why not more Money right? She explained the tickets were mandatory when a dog was impounded.

On her arrival at our home I asked her how much more we would be fleeced with these two tickets? She explained ,at least another couple of hundred dollars, and of course court costs. Welcome to Government gone amok. If you ever believed Government worked for you, if you ever believed anything was about your interest when politicians tell you they want to hire more cops and other government workers, get your head examined.

I had long held that Government did not work for people, people worked for government, an unnatural phenomenon to begin with. As bad as these public service workers are the police in these little towns are the worse. The only bright spot in all of this was Town Supervisor Todd Tancredi who called Tuesday and spoke to my wife, he wanted to know whether Bud was adjusting well to being back home where he belong. It’s not often that I have anything positive to say about Government or those who work in Government, many could not function in the private sector or on their own. Todd Tancredi is not one of them. Our thanks to mister Tancredi for serving the interest of the people who put him in office.

Town of Poughkeepsie cops all drive around in brand new cruisers, with full trappings, they are paid very well, crime in the town are relegated to a few shop-lifting in the malls along the route 9 corridor. You will get ticketed for driving 20 miles per hour on some roads, I kid you not, the speed limit is 15 miles per hour in places. No there are no schools in these zones, it is designed to tax you more.

As if that wasn’t overkill, the Sheriff’s department and State Police all overlap in the ticket writing bonanza. Just don’t expect much if you have a real problem which requires their help.