NMMC donates safety equipment to Fort Kent Police Department

FORT KENT, Maine – When the Town of Fort Kent approached Northern Maine Medical Center a few months ago for support in purchasing safety equipment for its police department, former NMMC President and CEO Peter Sirois offered to cover the entire cost of the purchase.

“Northern Maine Medical Center has a symbiotic relationship with our community and we work closely with our first responders and police officers to keep members of our community safe. Supporting the purchase of equipment that would help protect the safety and well-being of both our citizens and our police force just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Sirois. 

Fort Kent Town Manager Suzie Paradis said the police department has hired a few new officers and they were lacking some of the equipment needed to ensure the safety of the town’s citizens. 

“This donation is most generous and helpful as we run on a tight budget with little room for incidental purchases in our departments,” said Paradis. 

Fort Kent Chief of Police Michael DeLena added, “In our line of work and with the rising influx of drugs within our community, officers are at increased risk of being assaulted by offenders with mental health and substance abuse disorder. With this new safety equipment, I can equip our full-time and reserve officers with an additional less lethal tool to help with situational use of force.”  

When police are responding to a call, they are often unaware of exactly what type of situation they are walking into and might arrive to find someone in crisis. Additionally, people in crisis often find themselves at the emergency room for evaluation or treatment, and sometimes it is the police who respond when a patient becomes hostile. Proper use of the right equipment can help officers deescalate a situation safely for everyone involved. 

NMMC’s new President and CEO Jeff Zewe said, “When we all work together, we can make a difference. I’m personally happy for the strong relationship Northern Maine Medical Center has established with our community and hope to continue building on that mutual trust moving forward.”

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