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Statewide Authority for Domestic Violence Investigators
February 15, 2011
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider reaffirmed the jurisdiction of 21 domestic violence investigators yesterday from six district attorneys offices, seven sheriffs offices, and two police departments by swearing them in as statewide investigators. This marks the fifth year of a program started by the Attorney General’s Office that provides statewide law enforcement powers to domestic violence investigators so that their work does not have to stop at town or county lines.
By broadening the arrest powers of these investigators the program has resulted in several arrests of violent or repeat offenders who may have avoided timely apprehension. At least five other police departments in Maine also have officers dedicated to domestic violence investigations who operate within their respective municipal jurisdictions. Attorney General Schneider called the extension of jurisdiction for the 21 investigators another tool for the officers to use against the insidious problem of domestic violence in Maine.
“This is a very effective way to combat domestic violence that occurs all over the state. By providing statewide arrest authority to these law enforcement investigators we can interrupt domestic violence at an earlier stage before it escalates. The recent Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel Report highlights the destructive nature of domestic violence and the importance of the investigators’ work. Every 97 minutes, someone in Maine is the victim of a domestic assault. More than half of the homicides in Maine are cases of domestic violence and as law enforcers we must do everything in our power to stop these inexcusable acts of violence,” Attorney General Schneider said.
The Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel’s report is available online at http://www.maine.gov/ag/dynld/documents/8th%20Report%20of%20the%20Maine%20Domestic%20Abuse%20Homicide%20Review%20Panel.pdf
The officers sworn in as domestic violence investigators yesterday are:
Aroostook County SO - Lawrence Goff and Daniel Robertson; Cumberland County DA - Jill Potvin; Franklin County SO - David St. Laurent; Hancock County DA - Stephen McFarland; Kennebec County DA - Robert Hinkel and Paul Stewart; Knox County SO - Dwight Burtis; Lincoln County SO - Robert McFetridge; Oxford County SO - Hart Daley, Christopher Wainwright, and Thomas Harriman; Piscataquis County DA - Scott Arno; Sagadahoc County DA - Steven Edmondson; Somerset County DA - James Ross; Waldo County SO - Matthew Curtis; Washington County, Eastport PD - Frank Gardner and John Preston; York County SO Mathew Nadeau and Wilfred Vachon; York County, Biddeford PD - Ricky Doyon
Contact: Martha Demeritt, 626-8599