BREWER, Maine — Officer Raymond “Jeff” Gotreau has been with the Brewer Police Department for only two years, but his dedication and work ethic are obvious to his fellow officers who selected him as their Officer of the Year.
“The caliber of his work is that of a really seasoned veteran,” Police Chief Perry Antone said Tuesday morning. “You can consistently rely upon Jeff. He is dedicated to the profession.”
Gotreau was hired in Brewer after working for the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and the Dexter Police Department.
Antone presented a plaque and certificate of commendation to Gotreau, and five others in the department who were given Meritorious Police Service awards at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
Sgt. Richard Smith, Cpl. Paul Gauvin, Cpl. Nelson Ferro, Officer Amy Nickerson and Detective Fred Luce earned accolades for their service over the last year, Antone said.
Those listed “went above and beyond in some areas which earned them special recognition,” he wrote in his monthly memo to councilors.
The police chief said Nickerson “really worked hard to establish herself as an investigator” dealing with drug cases; Gauvin helped other officers understand the elements of enforcing operating under the influence laws; Feero was a dedicated detective; and Smith helped to achieve the department’s goals.
Antone said Luce, who joined the department in 1996 and is assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration task force based in Bangor, earned the Meritorious Police Service award and a separate City Council recognition for his dedicated work.
Luce recently completed a two-year investigation, dubbed Operation Halloween, that “took him from points in Costa Rica to Alaska and Maine and all points in between,” and led to drug charges against more than 30 people. Michael Myer, who is one Mainer charged in the cocaine and OxyContin drug case, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Portland today.
As part of the investigation, “he introduced over 100,000 pages of investigative documents to the [federal] grand jury,” Antone said. “That’s commitment. That’s dedication. That’s a lot of hard work.”
The council order states that “all suspects involved in ‘Operation Halloween’ have been prosecuted and held accountable for their illegal conduct.”
The department has benefited financially from Luce’s work by collecting forfeited assets totaling “between $160,000 and $170,000 from this one case,” Antone said.
The city was allocated $26,913 in forfeited assets associated with the successful prosecution of Operation Halloween criminals this month, and “there are still large amounts of assets ready to be distributed,” the police chief said.
With the high level of dedication and a deep understanding about what it takes to be an effective officer, all of his officers deserve recognition, Antone said.
“I’m extremely proud to be chief here,” he said. “They make my job easy.”
As part of the Officer of the Year honor, Gotreau’s photo will be posted alongside others on the Officer of the Year board hanging on the wall at the police station. Last year’s honoree was Nelson Feero, and Peter Rancourt earned the honor the year before.
“We’re extremely proud to have him with our department,” Antone said of Gotreau.