LINCOLN, Maine — Police Sgt. Patty McLaughlin will resign her position on the Lincoln Police Department on Dec. 20 to take a job as a Penobscot County sheriff’s deputy, Police Chief Scott Minckler said Tuesday.
“We’re losing a very good officer,” Minckler said. “It will be a blow to this department. She did a lot for this department and this community in her time here. She is a very good investigator.”
McLaughlin was off-duty on Tuesday night. Attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.
McLaughlin joined the Police Department in February 2008 and was promoted to sergeant, No. 2 in the six-member force, in March. As sergeant, she replaced Kevin Giberson, who rejoined the Millinocket Police Department in late 2009.
The department’s sole full-time female officer, McLaughlin earned a commendation from former Police Chief William Flagg for disarming a knife-wielding 15-year-old girl in a West Broadway home in June 2008.
McLaughlin worked at Millinocket District Court as a clerk, in the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office as an administrative assistant and as a reserve town officer before joining the department at age 43.
As a 911 dispatcher for Maine State Police at the Orono barracks, McLaughlin was nominated to be state police Communication Officer of the Year in 2005 and won the award in 2006.
Minckler said he believed that McLaughlin is leaving the department to pursue all the advantages that come with working for a larger police agency.
Working for the county “is a very good opportunity for her,” Minckler said. “They offer better benefits and have a larger coverage area. She will get a lot more freedom, a chance to pursue a lot of different things.”
Yet because the sheriffs help cover Lincoln, McLaughlin will be available to assist town police on at least one outstanding investigation of hers, Minckler said.
Minckler said he hopes to fill an open patrol position soon, before filling the open sergeant’s post.