POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie Mayor and retired Town of Poughkeepsie Police Detective Rob Rolison is still fighting crime. On Sunday afternoon the mayor was preparing to fuel up his personal vehicle at a gas station on Hooker Avenue when he heard screaming from a nearby parking lot. According to the mayor, he observed what appeared to be an altercation between some individuals that was becoming physical. One of the individuals entered a vehicle an fled from the scene. Rolison decided to follow at a safe distance.
Rolison said that the vehicle was heading towards the Town of Poughkeepsie and he called town police to advise them of the situation. He said his actions were the result of “If you see something, say something.”
While following the fleeing vehicle, Rolison stayed on the phone with town police to provide up-to-the-minute details of the vehicle’s location. As the fleeing vehicle and he approached the Red Oaks Mill intersection, a town police patrol joined in, just as the car was turning west onto Spackenkill Road. The former cop yielded so the officer could pull the other vehicle over.
Rolison said that he pulled over a safe distance from the traffic stop to observe. A second town police vehicle arrived on the scene with a supervisor. A search of the vehicle resulted in one occupant being taken into custody by town police.
Mayor Rolison had also alerted the City of Poughkeepsie Police who, in turn, responded to the site of the original disturbance to question the victim and potential witnesses. According to City of Poughkeepsie Police Chief Tom Pape, the only arrest was handled by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police but credited Rolison with alerting the authorities to the nefarious activity as it occurred.
“My instincts and training kicked in and I was obligated to react,” said Rolison. “I was in the right place at the right time and responded accordingly,” said the mayor who has been lauded for similar actions since retiring from law enforcement. In February of 2016, Rolison was out to dinner with his wife Lori when he ended up in a foot pursuit with vandals that were defacing a City of Poughkeepsie building.
Town of Poughkeepsie Police officials have not released the name of the individual that was arrested, or the charges involved. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.