A Hummel Report InvestigationLast fall Chief Stephen Enos phoned the Rehoboth Police station just after midnight, asking the dispatcher to run a Rhode Island license plate. Enos then asked for street-by-street directions to the address in Pawtucket where the car is registered. This week, Jim Hummel has a copy of the recording, which took the department more than seven weeks to produce.
Hummel: ``Last fall Police Chief Stephen Enos called the dispatcher here at the Rehoboth Police Station asking him to run a Rhode Island license plate - and to give him street-by-street directions to an address in Pawtucket. This week, the four-minute conversation the town took more than seven weeks to turn over to us.''
The chief made the call just after midnight on Saturday Sept. 25th. from his cell phone, not the police radio. We asked for a copy of the call on January 14th, under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, which gives the town 10 days to answer our request.
Four days later Lt. Michael Brady denied the request. He said the ``National Driver Information Protection Act'' prohibited him from disclosing personal information on the tape.
He would not release any of the tape, even though the personal information was only a small portion of it. Brady said he did not have the technology to edit the recording.
We offered to record just the permissible parts with our own equipment.
Brady then told us he had figured out how to edit it himself and was ready to give us a copy when Chief Enos ordered him to send it to the town's legal counsel in Boston.
Two more weeks passed.
Finally, 37 days later - and 52 days after our initial request, the department produced a copy of the recording.
Dispatcher: ``Rehoboth Police, recorded line.''
Enos: ``It's the chief, how are you?''
Dispatcher: ``Hey, how are you, chief?''
Enos: ``Can you do me a favor, and run me a Rhode Island plate (number of plate)...a passenger - looking for like a black, or dark color Jeep Cherokee.''
Dispatcher: ``Sure, just one moment, okay?''
Enos: ``How is it, quiet tonight?''
Dispatcher: ``I'm sorry?''
Enos: ``Quiet tonight?''
Dispatcher: ``Yeah, so far. So far, but the night's still young yet.''
Enos: ``You gonna be around because we're going to be needing some help. Todd is going to be out for awhile.''
Dispatcher: Yeah, I put in the next two days, I do have family coming up this weekend - or coming down, so the next two days, unfortunately, I was going to spend with them, but I put in for all of his shifts next week and then the ones that were in the following week so we'll see if I get any more than five. Anything more than five is gravy. You know?''
Enos: ``Oh yeah.''
Dispatcher: ``Yeah, I did, I put in for all of them besides this weekend. How's he doing?''
Enos: ``Uh...good. I think he's better.''
Dispatcher: ``Yeah. Alright, should be printing. Just let me grab that out of the printer, chief.''
Enos: ``Yes, go right ahead.''
Dispatcher: ``Alright, that comes back to a Grey Jeep, 1998 (name of owner).... Date of birth 3-23- of 72....(number) Farnum Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.''
Enos: ``...Farnum Street Pawtucket?''
Dispatcher: ``Yep. F_A_R_N_U_M.''
Enos: ``Okay. Do me a favor, where the frig is Farnum? Can you look it up?''
Dispatcher: ``I'm sorry?''
Enos: ``Can you just punch in Farnum and tell me where Farnum Street is?''
Enos: ``So who's on the road tonight?''
Dispatcher: ``Right now I have Lt. Dube on his regular shift. Officer Syrett on a regularshift and #35 is on an overtime shift.''
Enos: ``Oh. Good.''
Dispatcher: ``Farnum...street. Farnum Street. Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Alright, do you know where umm - showing Central Ave. is in Pawtucket?''
Dispatcher: ``Alright there's a split. There's Central Ave and Benefit Street. You go left at Central Ave. and right is Benefit Street. There's numerous streets that run horizontal in between there. The first street is Bradley Street. The second street is Farnum. ''
Enos: ``So...alright. It's like Newport onto Central Ave.''
Dispatcher: ``Yup - if you come off...let me just get a full view here. Actually, let's see, Newman Ave., Central Ave. It showing...it's off. I'm trying to find Newport, it's not showing...North Seekonk. Alright, if you get on Central Ave from uh, I guess Central Ave just split. I guess there's a split, it's hard to explain. Um, I'm just trying to see. Oh Newport Ave. You ready chief?''
Enos: ``What's that?''
Dispatcher: ``If you come off of Newport Ave.''
Dispatcher: ``And you take a right, I'm sorry. Coming off Newport Ave you take a left onto Benefit Street.''
Dispatcher: ``If you follow Benefit Street all the way down to where..almost where Central Ave and Benefit connect, it's the second to last street on the right-hand side.''
Enos: ``Okay. do me a favor, throw that in my box.''
Dispatcher: ``Alright chief. You have a good night.''
Enos: ``Have a good night, Adam. If you need me, give me a yell.''
Dispatcher. ``Alright. Great..Thank you.''
Enos: ``Alright. Bye.''
The Hummel Report left messages asking the chief to explain why he was having a plate run in the middle of the night and asking for street-by-street directions to the address in Pawtucket where the car is registered.
The chief has not returned our calls.
In Rehoboth, Jim Hummel, for the Hummel Report