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Maine Department of Public Safety

COMMUNICATOR

Compiled by Steve McCausland, Public Information Officer

updated April 11, 2014

 

The 13 newest troopers have joined the State Police. They completed nine weeks of specialized State Police training and instruction

and will now patrol with a veteran trooper before beginning patrolling on their own.

The trooper-recruits volunteered their last week at the Family Violence Project and local soup kitchen in Augusta as part of a community service day.  First row from L to R: Andrew Peirson, George Neagle, Randy Hall, Sarah Ferland, John Darcy, Brian Hink. In the back are Michael Pion, James Moore, Shane Sullivan, Taylor Dube, Ethan Doody, Adam Bell, & Nicholas Gleeson.

 

And this is the troop ready to graduate --

 

A new program to combat distracted driving was unveiled this week by State Police.   The Chief of the State Police, Colonel Robert Williams, said the four year effort will concentrate on drivers who are not paying attention to the operation of their vehicles. In addition to the enforcement campaign, Highway Safety began airing public service announcements on Maine radio stations.

 

Trooper Duane Doughty from Troop G, one of the department’s leaders in distracted driving enforcement,

with Colonel Williams looking on

           

Among the thousands of firefighters who attended the recent funerals in Boston was a delegation from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

 Their distinctive maroon dress blouses stood out in a sea of other uniforms in this Boston Globe photo.

 From L to R – Sgt. Ken Grimes with Investigators Mark Roberts, Mary MacMaster, Jeremy Damren, Isaiah Peppard and Scott Richardson

For more than a decade, State Police have taken part in a State House rally on child abuse prevention,

sponsored by the Maine Children’s Trust. 

Here Colonel Williams gets ready to talk to the media in the Hall of Flags. Major Gary Wright can be seen in the background. 

 

 

Maine appears to be headed for a record year for meth labs.  Maine Drug Enforcement has found ten of them, so far.  There were 20 for all of last year and 13 in 2012.   Pharmacy robberies also are on an increase with eight so far this year.  There were 13 last year and a record 56 pharmacy robberies in 2012.

 

The Bureau of Highway Safety says traffic deaths in Maine are on the increase.  Following Sunday’s double fatal in Hampden, this year’s highway death count stands at 33, compared to 20 deaths for the same period in 2013. The state also has recorded its first motorcycle death of the year, as the bikes start coming out of winter storage. The motorcycle fatality took place last week in Bath.

 

Fire Marshals say an elderly man from Cooper died overnight from injuries he received when his house caught fire on March 29.  80 Year old Vladimir Drozdoff was severely burned when he attempted to put the fire out at his home, which eventually burned to the ground.  Fire Marshals say that was the eighth fire death of the year.  Fire investigators are also looking into a second fatal fire—this one in Chester this week where an elderly woman died in her mobile home. That would be fire death #9.

 

The speeder of the month is a young Cornish woman, flying 123 mph up the turnpike with her two young children in the back seat. Trooper Roger Teachout stopped the car driven by 24 year old Cheryl Gilson in Portland, after clocking it in Saco on Sunday afternoon. Gilson is charged with criminal speed, driving to endanger, and endangering the welfare of her children. There was no chase, but because of the high speed, it took the trooper about 10 miles to get close enough to the car to get it stopped.  Gilson had no explanation for her actions and her recent charges will be added to a long list of traffic violations she has amassed since getting her driver’s license nine years ago.  

 

 

Two of the three newest Capitol Police officers were sworn in recently by Commissioner John Morris. Joseph Morelli and Jacob Boudreau join Steven Trahan, another new addition to the force.  Capitol Police provide security around the State House and at the Riverview facility in Augusta.  Morelli formerly was with the VA and Maine court security;  Boudreau was with Veazie Police and court security, and Trahan is a 22 year veteran of several police departments in central Maine.