GREENVILLE, Maine — The Greenville Police Department recently was awarded a nearly $206,000 federal grant to add another police officer to its roster for three years, but the department may lose the funds if it’s unable to secure funding for the fourth-year costs.
Residents were told at the annual town meeting in March that the department had applied for the grant offered through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. As is protocol for such grants, an article was presented to residents during a town meeting to approve the grant, if funded. Because the town would be required to fund the officer for a fourth year, residents rejected the grant 42-32.
This month, the town received notification that the police department’s grant was funded.
Rather than lose the funds, town officials are exploring their options and informally have asked if Piscataquis County could fund the fourth-year costs of the additional officer. The town currently has two full-time officers.
“This is an idea that we’re exploring. We know that the townspeople here said no to that grant as it was funded before,” Greenville Town Manager Gary Lamb said Friday. The question is whether residents would approve the grant if the county funded the fourth-year costs of about $60,000, he said. Ultimately, it would be up to the taxpayers, he added.
Lamb and Greenville Police Chief Jeff Pomerleau plan to meet with Piscataquis County commissioners and Sheriff John Goggin to discuss the possibility on Oct. 18 in Dover-Foxcroft.
The new officer would report solely to Pomerleau, Lamb said. The town, in turn, would assume patrol in the surrounding unorganized territories where it already responds to county calls in those areas, he said.
This move would relieve the sheriff’s department’s of patrol in the Moosehead Lake region. If this happened, it would free up more of the existing deputies to be elsewhere in the county, Lamb said.