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Hey Madawaska, there’s a new officer in town

MADAWASKA, Maine — A new officer is patrolling Madawaska’s streets after the Madawaska Police Department officially welcomed Cedric Gendreau to the force as of Saturday, Feb. 2.

The young officer said he had wanted to go into the police business since he was a child.

“When I was younger I thought it would be cool,” Gendreau said. “It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized it’s about giving back to the community.”

Gendreau grew up in Madawaska, and after high school graduation went into the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., for six months, one year in Korea and 10 months at Fort Hood, Texas, before he was deployed to Kuwait as a Patriot launching station operator and maintainer.

His folks are still in the area he calls his home. Gendreau said that was a factor in determining where to go into police work.

“I am familiar with the territory, the people, the businesses,” he said. “It is easier to communicate if you know them.”

As a certified police officer, Gendreau underwent 200 hours of pre-service training, including separate hands-on and on-the-job training in addition to online education. While Gendreau has not yet attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, he will have graduated by next spring and still holds power of arrest.

Gendreau said he enjoyed his training and has enjoyed his work so far.

“The guys who trained me have a lot of experience,” Gendreau said of the police force that has a combined experience of over 65 years. “They can explain how to deal with certain instances and have knowledge they can pass on to new people like me.”

Police Lt. Jamie Pelletier said he was happy to welcome the new officer to the department.

“It is always nice when young people show interest in joining law enforcement,” Pelletier said. “Cedric is no exception. He demonstrates integrity, a willingness to learn, and a sense of community you can’t find much anymore.”

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