The Patrol Division is responsible for the answering and investigation of over 14,000 calls for service yearly throughout the 54 rural communities for which we are responsible. There are approximately 30 full-time deputies in the agency complimented by an additional 15 reserve and full-time deputies assigned to contractual programs. Contractual programs assist rural towns in providing law enforcement services without having to bear the tremendous expense of a full-time agency. These programs may be in the form of a contract or community policing program. Currently the communities of Hermon, Orrington, Carmel, Milford, Glenburn, and Eddington provide services in this manner.
The patrol deputy must be 21 years of age and pass a background check to include the passing of a polygraph, drug and medical screening, and motor vehicle and criminal history check. The agency has both male and female deputies. Prior to being interviewed the potential applicant must pass a physical agility test as required by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
The agency operates under a “Resource Coordination Agreement” with the Maine State Police. The county is divided into six zones, and when a call comes into the Dispatch Center, it is transferred to the agency of jurisdiction. Weekly, the zones rotate. Each agency then serves as backup to the other agency during incidents requiring additional support. This Agreement maximizes the abilities of both agencies by eliminating any duplication of service. It also spreads out the manpower of both agencies and reduces response time. The two agencies work seamlessly in joint investigations. This relationship is recognized as one of the most successful Call Sharing Agreements in the State.
Each shift has a patrol supervisor assigned to it. Deputies must be self-motivated as they are primarily responsible for the investigations that they initiate. A Special Response Team (SRT) of 13 specially trained officers are available to assist in high-risk search warrants, arrest warrants, and higher risk incidents, when it is not necessary to bring in the State Police Tactical Team. They train on building entry, evidence collection, and arrest procedures. The Special Response Team is available to assist any community.
The patrol deputy has the best equipment at his/her disposal. Each cruiser is equipped with digital cameras, defibrillator, fingerprint equipment, a laptop computer, advanced first aid kit, radar, spike mats, and other basic police equipment. Through various Federal grants, each cruiser is equipped with mobile data computers linked through a cellular network to the Penobscot County Regional Information Sharing System. Deputies, State Troopers, and municipal officers have access to the regional records management system and have the ability to conduct license, registration, and criminal records checks directly from the cruiser. Traffic accident reporting software is loaded on the laptops, assisting in accident investigation reports and diagrams. Additional equipment is available on the Crime Scene Van that can come to their scene.
There are very limited ride-a-long opportunities due to the nature of the work and availability of the deputy. Most are done through higher educational internships through a formal agreement with a college or university. Generally the ride-a-long is a component of a broader educational opportunity which requires the intern to complete a project and then will have exposure to the correctional division, courts, and regional dispatch. Guidance counselors may contact the Chief Deputy or Sheriff to explore these limited opportunities.
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