22-year veteran officer is Madawaska’s interim police chief
MADAWASKA, Maine — Madawaska is on the hunt for a new police chief after Ross DuBois retired April 8, but in the meantime a 22-year veteran of the department is keeping the watch.
Lt. Jamie Pelletier is serving as interim police chief and has applied for the job on a permanent basis.
Madawaska town manager Gary Picard said there is no set deadline yet for the application process.
“[Selectmen] are giving this some time so that we can receive a fair number of applications that can be reviewed,” Picard said.
DuBois served as chief for the past six years and will open a new restaurant with his wife now that he is retired.
Pelletier said he enjoyed working with the former chief.
“I worked with him for my entire career and I want to thank him for the opportunities he allowed me to have as far as training opportunities and things like that. He was instrumental in forming the school resource officer position that he put me into. It’s all good stuff,” Pelletier said.
Pelletier said there has been a smooth transition to moving into the interim chief position, but that he has been very busy.
As a lieutenant, Pelletier’s role was to fill in for the chief when he was away for vacations or illness. Pelletier is also the department’s lead investigator, heading up detective work for serious offenses such as child abuse, sex crime, and higher-end financial crime cases, he said.
Pelletier also spent time as a school resource officer in tandem with these other responsibilities.
The officer shortage that has plagued so many departments in Maine also affects Madawaska.
“We still have some staffing issues. We are essentially down to four officers when we are supposed to be six full-time including the chief,” Pelletier said. “We’ve always done pretty well as far as remaining full staffed, but we are definitely feeling it these last couple years.”
Madawaska is also recruiting for another full time police officer, and Pelletier said the town of about 3,500 is a good place to live and work in law enforcement.
“We are a mill town. Crime is really low; there is not much violent crime that happens. I consider us to be a safe community. We’re a proactive police department,” he said.
If selected as the permanent police chief, Pelletier said he will continue to focus on community policing.
“My goal is to continue being proactive, being out in the community, doing things that aren’t necessarily policing people, just being around to help and make those types of things happen,” he said.