Feast of Fish
The Portchester Johnny Ruines Memorial Police Station
Construction and History
The Portchester Johnny Ruines Memorial Police Station was constructed beginning in late November 1892, and opened December 26 1892. It is located on the corner of College Rd and South Battery, and was initially staffed with only a few members from the militia groups that had patrolled Fairfield on Sunday Oct 23, 1892. However, over the course of several months, additional Portchester citizens were hired as City-Commissioned Police Officers.
At its opening, Angus McAbus, Officer and Station Administrator, gave a speech declaring the station as “the start of great new things and a shining beacon of hope for the hard-working citizens of Portchester”. He went on to say “the people of Portchester deserve peace of mind, and restful nights, knowing that their homes and property are safe; and their families protected. Portchester citizens work hard and are the foundation that supports all of Fairfield; it’s high time they were recognized for their invaluable contributions, and provided with the comfort and security they deserve!”
Although a powerful speech, it was met with only light applause and much skepticism. However, this quickly changed within weeks as press gangs were rounded up and shipped off to Bridgeport courts, protection rackets were infiltrated and shutdown, and unreasonable money lending organization were put out of business by legitimate lending businesses.
With duly earned faith in the new Police Station, citizens not only felt free to report illegal incidents but also to provide information to “special investigators”. Rumors spread about Angus’ involvement in solving the Festival of Fish murders, discovering the monstrous bugs that were causing the issue, and single-handedly storming the cave to wipe them out in a maelstrom of gunfire. He denied the “single-handedly” portion of the tale, but coined a catch-phrase that not only helped to boost his popularity, but served to drive the last remnants of organized crime from Portchester due to its truth in application. With public support, within 6 months, crime rates in Portchester had dropped more than 50%, with violent crime dropping an outstanding 90%. Subsequently, he became known as Angus “I stopped the bugs like I will the thugs” McAbus.
Appearance and Operations
The building looks very nice, by Portchester standards, with smooth stone blocks and a well insulated interior. A stone slab sits next to the entry gate, with a golden plaque that reads:
Inside, a black and white tile floor provides a beautiful and stark contrast against sea-blue walls. The entry opens into the main office room, with a large desk for the clerk and comfortably padded waiting benches. Adjoining the office room is a locked armory, records room, and hallway. Upon entering the hallway, to the immediate left is a conference room used for discussing private internal police matters, sensitive public complaints, and interrogation of suspects and witnesses. The hall also contains seven holding cells. Six are quite large, by traditional standards, with a fine bed and barred windows to provide natural lighting and fresh air. The seventh is designed for holding “high risk” individuals. The bed has straps and belts for restraining purposes, and all corners and hard surfaces are either rounded or padded to ensure the safety of “highly anxious” prisoners.
Beside the conference room is a stairwell to the second floor.
The second floor is mostly unfinished, and used for storing supplies and sundry items. (See below)
The building is well staffed at all times, and there are strict rules (with harsh monetary penalties for non-compliance) that the ranking officer is responsible for providing reasonable care and accommodation to all holdees, regardless of disposition or alleged criminal behavior.
In April 1894, construction began to finish off the second floor. The work took two months to complete, at which time the Everest Security company was opened (owner: Angus McAbis). The stairwell opens up into the branch office; beyond this are barracks-like areas for guards, police, and witnesses, along with special “lock-down” and “safe” areas.
The business was opened as a means of providing additional security, at a cost, to those who needed more than the standard general safety provided by the public police force. Its slogan, “Bias security protection from bias criminals and injustice”, indicates its “additional protection for a price” business model. Several options are available, from hourly to monthly fees, armed vs. unarmed security, individual vs. group security guards, and ‘undercover’ security.
In its years of operation, it has provided a necessary extra level of crime prevention and protection that has greatly improved the stability of trade businesses through better protection of import/export goods both on the docks and in the nearby storage warehouses. In addition, on occasion, wealthy individuals have paid handsomely for personal escort services to keep themselves and family members safe when traveling or during times of “strained business situations”.