May 20, 2018
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Calais police officer revives effort to help businesses stave off crime

By Diana Graettinger

CALAIS, Maine — Shortly after he assumed the duties of police chief earlier this year, David Randall announced that he planned to re-establish a program he began several years ago as a patrol officer — to address crimes that occur in the business community.

Earlier this month he made good on his promise and sent letters to area businesses inviting them to a series of workshops next year to talk about such common issues as shoplifting, employee theft and bad checks.

The first workshop will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at the City Building.

“These workshops are a great way to meet the other business leaders in the area and to compare notes on different issues that arise,” Randall said in his letter. “With the poor economy the Calais Police Department feels that the above crimes will grow and we want a chance to be proactive and give you the advice you may need to handle these issues properly to ensure prosecution of the crimes and restitution for you and your business.”

Randall said in a telephone interview that he has heard from several business owners who plan to attend. “I think most of them are glad we are starting it up again — not only because we are going over some issues, but the networking aspect of it with other businesses,” he said.

The chief said he also had spoken with Walt Huffman, who is in charge of the loss-prevention department for Marden’s Surplus and Salvage. Huffman is based in Brewer. Randall said Huffman was pleased the department had reintroduced the program.

Future workshops will address such issues as violence in the workplace and how to protect a company’s computers. “But the big part is the networking between all these businesses when they talk to each other and talk about their problems, and the same people that are causing their problems. I think it is going to make a big dif-ference,” Randall said.

Workshops will be scheduled monthly, and in the future business owners will pick the topics. “After the first meeting, I am going to leave it up to the majority of the businesspeople of when, where and what we want to talk about,” Randall said.

The workshops are open to everyone, including business owners outside Calais.

Anyone who would like to attend the workshop or suggest future topics should call Randall at 454-2753.

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