Candidate: Domestic violence top priority

Posted Feb. 05, 2010, at 11:08 p.m.
Photo of Jeffrey Norman Gallagher, who is running for Knox County Sheriff.
Photo of Jeffrey Norman Gallagher, who is running for Knox County Sheriff.

ROCKPORT, Maine — A Bank of America employee with 25 years of law enforcement experience is running for Knox County sheriff with the priority of lowering domestic violence rates.

“I think the number one problem in law enforcement at this time is domestic violence,” said Jeffrey Norman Gallagher, 57, of Rockport, who is running as an independent candidate hoping to succeed Sheriff Donna Dennison. “A lot of it is fueled by drugs and alcohol, so I want to take a look at the department and see if there is enough enforcement to be dealing with that type of crime.”

One of Gallagher’s goals would be to evaluate officers’ strengths and place people in compatible roles with their skill sets. He said in a recent interview that he would rework the system to make sure enough skilled staff members are able to reduce domestic violence rates.

“I want to review all the jobs. I want to put the best people in the positions they are best suited for. I want the best people in the best places in the department,” he said.

Gallagher said his experience in the Marine Patrol has helped him establish relations with county, state and local law enforcement agencies. His experience includes working for the Washburn police in 1975, the Caribou Police Department from 1975 until 1977, working as a Maine Marine Patrol officer for almost 20 years and as a Marine Patrol sergeant from 1996 to 2000. At the state level he was in charge of budgets, hiring, training, watercraft and more, he said.

Gallagher, who ran unsuccessfully for Knox County sheriff in 2002, now works as an account manager at Bank of America where he has been since 2004.

Having positive interactions with schoolchildren and teenagers is another goal of Gallagher’s. He hopes to make presentations in schools about safety.

“There’s not enough interaction with younger people; if there is interaction between officers and younger people it’s usually negative. I want to see a positive interactions,” said Gallagher, who is originally from Caribou and has lived in Knox County for 35 years.

Gallagher said he would keep an open-door policy and would lead by example.

“I want to listen to people and take the appropriate action, keep the best interest in public safety in mind,” he said. “I’m going to be firm, but fair.”

Gallagher said he is ready to leave the private sector and get back into law enforcement.

“I want a challenge and that certainly would be a challenge taking on that responsibility,” he said.

Gallagher recently opened a Facebook page, “Jeff Gallagher for Knox County Sheriff.”

The election takes place Nov. 2.

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