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Brothers in Law

updated 07/17/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/17/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Rumford, Maine, is a quiet, neighborly kind of town. Get into a late-night bar fight there, though, and you'll wind up seeing double. That's because when Officer Roy Hodsdon responds, his backup is likely to be Officer Ray Hodsdon, his identical twin.

The only way a malefactor might be able to distinguish between the 30-year-old brothers Hodsdon is by the uniform: Roy is a Rumford cop, and Ray works in Dixfield. But the towns are close enough and small enough to share a jail and a dispatcher—and their officers often assist each other. "When I hear on the radio that Roy's got a bar fight, and it's 2 a.m.," says Ray, "I just head in that direction."

The twins, born in England, where their father, Roscoe, was a U.S. Air Force master sergeant (Lorrie, their mother, is a cook), attended the Maine police academy together in 1997, continuing a lifelong habit by confusing their instructors. "The only way they could figure out who was who," says Ray, "was that he shoots right-handed."

Although the two, who got married within three months of each other, have differing patrol styles ("Roy is a little more aggressive, more apt to stop vehicles," says Dixfield police chief Richard Pickett), they've become accustomed to fielding complaints about each other. "I get it all the time," says Roy. "Someone will say, 'You were a jerk last night in Dixfield.' And I'll say, 'If you think he was bad, you don't want to deal with me.' " And both admit that being a twin and a cop can be difficult. "Not only do I gotta worry about the guys I arrested," says Roy, "I've gotta worry about the guys he arrested."

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