The Tides of Brewster Harbor; Episode 18, The IRS 

Niles enjoyed his last weekend before officially taking over as chief by snooping around and keeping away from Lucinda. Nevertheless, he drove nearly every mile of the roads of Brewster Harbor’s jurisdiction.

When Monday morning arrived he dressed in black slacks, green dress shirt, with a green striped tie, and black sports jacket, On the inner lapel of his jacket he pinned his badge. He walked to the Harbor Inn and walked in.

To his surprise he walked into a rousing applause from Charley, Shelly, and Steve said.

“Congratulations,” Charley said.

Niles smiled embarrassingly.

Shelly grabbed his hand. “Come with me.” She led him to a seat at a table. There sat a full breakfast; bacon, scrabbled eggs, toast, coffee, and an apple crisp muffin with a candle.

“It’s your first day on the job,” Steve said.

“Take your seat,” Charley said.

“I assume you’ll all join me,” Niles said.

They all sat as Niles enjoyed the breakfast and the conversation.

He finished eating, wrapped the muffin in a napkin, and said. “I’ll have this later, I got to be at the office at 7:30, half hour before opening.”

“Hey,” Charley said. “I’ve been thinking, Shelley and me are in here at six getting breakfast ready, just come in anytime after six. The door will be open. That way you can get here earlier and not feel so rushed.”

“I’m going to take you up on that,” Niles said. He thanked Charley, Shelly, and Steve and walked the short distance down the way and across the street.

He opened the office and sat at his desk. “Nothing left over from last week,” he thought, “nothing to do.” He opened the file and started going over the budget. He wrote four pages of notes along with figures.

After two hours of paperwork and no phone calls, he exited the office and climbed in best the squad car on the force, a ‘94 Ford Crown Victoria. From reviewing the files, it was a gift from the Maine State Highway Patrol.

He stopped at a few local businesses and introduced himself, handing everyone a business card. No one seemed surprised, everyone knew him by then.

He drove back to the town hall to visit with Mildred.

“How often does Lut come by?” Niles said.

“Couple times a week,” Mildred said.

“He does most of his work from his office or at home,” Mildred said. “Ninety-five percent of his job is over the phone with people complaining.”

“Are you familiar with the procedure and guideline book?” Niles said.

“I have to be,” Mildred said.

“I would like to change the name of a police department’s sub account,” Niles said.

“Which one?” Mildred said

“IA, Investigative Account,” Niles said. “Change it to IRS, Investigative Resource Savings.”

“Should I ask why?” Mildred said.

“Nobody wants to look at anything labeled IRS,” Niles said. “By the way, how much is currently in the account”

She tapped a few keys on the key board and squinted at the computer screnn. “$2,553.”

“When was the last time anything was taken from the account?” Niles said

She tapped again. “Six months ago. There was an accident and one of the drivers bled all over Kevin, we had to replace his uniform. We didn’t have enough in the operating expenses sub account, so rather than move $75 around three or four times, it was just taken from IA.”

Niles turned down his lips and nodded.

“You don’t want that done anymore?” Mildred said. “Not that’s okay. If that’s the way it’s done, it sounds good to me. Just make sure we know why the money is moved around. Which leads me to another point; to what account does the money go that comes in from the county to patrol and administer their jurisdiction?”

“It goes to the town’s general fund and then to operating expenses of the department and sometimes it has to be shifted over to payroll,” Mildred said.

“If I’m correct in my reading,” Niles said. “The money does not have to go to the towns general fund, but can be deposited directly in the department’s operating expenses.”

“Is that what you want done?” Mildred said.

“Yes and no,” Niles said. “The county will be sending us a much larger check in the future. Make sure the typical thousand goes into the town’s general fund. In a couple weeks Tom and Sid will be going full time; make certain we have enough to cover them. And the rest will end up in the IRS.”

“And nobody wants to look at anything having to do with the IRS,” Mildred said.

“It’s no secret, Mildred,” Niles said. “It’s being discreet. You will soon see how the money will be spent.”

“I think I know,” Mildred said.

“Of course you do,” Niles said. “You know everything.”

“Oh,” Niles said. “Call the county sheriff and set up an appointment for me to see him tomorrow. It’s time we meet.”


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