JAY, Maine — Selectmen voted unanimously Monday night to authorize three town police officers to have statewide arrest powers.
Chief Larry White Sr. made the request for himself, Detective Richard Caton IV and Officer Mike Mejia.
State law allows local police departments statewide arrest powers with the permission of their local governing body.
By having statewide arrest powers, the officers investigating a case may go outside of their jurisdiction to towns such as Kingfield or Farmington and arrest someone, if necessary, without the aid of another law enforcement agency, White said.
“We don’t have to get another agency involved,” he said.
Livermore Falls selectmen granted Livermore Police Department statewide arrest powers in December. That authority allows police officers from that department to respond to the Livermore Elementary School in Livermore and make an arrest, if required.
This is another tool to help police do their jobs effectively, White said.
Caton does most of the investigations, but due to increased caseload, Mejia is going to help, White said. White also conducts investigations.
It doesn’t change anything, and it doesn’t increase the town’s liability, he said.
“It’s a good tool,” he said. “It is something the state is offering, and I think we should take advantage of it.”
In another police matter, selectmen authorized Town Manager Ruth Cushman to sign a criminal forfeiture acceptance of $2,979 from a drug case. Cindy Mitchell, 53, of Jay, agreed March 4 to forfeit the drug proceeds after pleading guilty to selling marijuana from her residence on Church Street.
In other business, selectmen voted to put four tax-acquired properties out to bid.
The town will require all money owed to the town, as well as all related costs, including advertising, as a minimum bid.
The first property is 17 Marcello St. The total unpaid taxes and sewer fees are $1,956.32, Cushman said. The town foreclosed on the property last year but had no luck contacting the owner.
The town decided to wait another year and let another lien expire to see if the town could contact her, Cushman said. The owner did call earlier this year and sent a check, but it was not enough to cover the entire amount due, she said. The checks were sent back to her, and she understood if she didn’t pay the full amount by January, the property would most likely be put out to bid, Cushman said.
Another property, a vacant lot on 17A Hidden Circle, will also go out to bid. Total unpaid taxes are $189.95.
Two other lots on Hidden Circle, in which a total of $1,477.79 is owed in back taxes, will also be put out to bid. A vacant trailer is on one of the lots.
Selectmen voted to abate $100.47 in back taxes on a property at 339 Macomber Hill Road for a trailer on a piece of land owned by someone else.
The taxes are owed for 2011. The state’s Homestead Exemption took care of any other taxes including 2012, Cushman said.
There are people living in the trailer, she said.
Cushman said if the town takes the trailer, it would have to pay lot rental, insurance and eviction fees.
After discussing it with selectmen, she recommended that they abate the $100.47 in taxes because it would cost more for the town if they had to pay for lot rental, insurance and eviction.