Aroostook sheriff inspects strengthened department

Posted May 17, 2010, at 11:48 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:30 a.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A year of change has made the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department and the services it offers stronger, Aroostook County Sheriff James Madore said Monday.

Madore and most of his employees, including members of the patrol, transportation and correctional divisions, were in Houlton on Monday for a staff meeting and to participate in Madore’s annual inspection of his deputies and their equipment.

A bright sun warmed the afternoon as deputies stood at attention next to their police cruisers, which had been washed and shined for the inspection. Officers also had their equipment at the ready as Madore and Chief Deputy Craig Clossey walked from vehicle to vehicle, inspecting their gear and talking with each deputy.

This year’s inspection also featured the department’s new tracking and drug-sniffing canine, Maxx. The department acquired grant money to secure the German shepherd, who stood next to Deputy Mitch Wheeler, his handler.

After the inspection, the officers gathered to discuss problems, budgets and equipment needs and other goals.

“The crew looks awesome,” Madore said after the inspection. “It is great to do this, because I rarely get to see everyone and all of their equipment in one location. It’s a huge county and we are all spread out around it, so this gives me a chance to check in with the staff and make sure that they have everything they need to do their job.”

Along with the new dog, grant money also is funding a domestic violence detective for the department. Detective Larry Goff was promoted from deputy to detective in January. Goff primarily is investigating domestic violence cases, but he also assists in other cases.

Madore said the public safety grant will fund the position for one year, and the sheriff said he hopes to secure additional money to fund the position in the long term.

Madore, who is up for re-election this year, credited his employees for their hard work.

“The deputies make me look good, and they serve the needs of the community to the best of their ability,” he said Monday. “It really is a good feeling to have people working for you that always work hard. They are doing a tremendous job.”