DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Piscataquis County Commissioners voted unanimously last week to hire Dover-Foxcroft police Officer Kyle Wilson as a full-time deputy sheriff and Fire Department Capt. Eric Berce for a dispatcher’s opening.
Wilson, who started his career as a part-time officer with the Dexter Police Department, also served as a patrolman in Brownville until joining the Dover-Foxcroft department in 2010.
Chief Deputy Bob Young told the commissioners that Wilson’s credentials and experience made him an ideal choice for the department’s opening. “He’s also a firearms and Taser instructor, so I think he’ll be a good fit for the department,” Young said. He added that Wilson also has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Husson University in Bangor.
Commissioner James Annis said that he knew Wilson “very well and [that] he’s done a lot of good work in Dover and in the area. I think he’s an excellent choice.”
Sheriff John Goggin added that Wilson is a “very professional young man. He just qualified [the sheriff’s department] on handguns recently, and I was very impressed with the way he handled himself.”
Young also said that filling the position quickly was a high priority in his department which only has four patrol deputies.
“One officer means a lot to us,” Young said.
Commissioners also approved the hiring of Berce to fill one of two dispatching vacancies in the sheriff’s department. Telecommunications Director Dave Roberts said that Tim Richardson will be leaving to take a position as Hancock County’s jail administrator while Pierre Blanchard has accepted a job as a security officer at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.
“Needless to say, that put us in a terrible position because we’re minimally staffed,” Roberts said.
Berce had applied three times for previous openings, said Roberts, and the only reason he wasn’t hired was because he lacked dispatching experience. “He’s a gentleman who has experience in fire, police and emergency services. His dad was police chief in Brownville, and [Berce’s] been on the ambulance service for years,” Roberts said.
Although both Roberts and the commissioners said they prefer to see all openings advertised, Commissioner Fred Trask said he understood the urgency of filling the position. “Normally, I’d like to do the best we can to be above-board about openings, but I guess you have more of a [critical] situation than we realized,” Trask said. The second opening will be advertised, Roberts added.
Another new face in Piscataquis County government will be Gail Clark of Sebec as a full-time clerk specialist in the Registry of Deeds department, who was unanimously endorsed by the commissioners.
Registrar Linda Smith said that there were 73 applicants for the opening and 12 candidates were interviewed.
“She has extensive computer experience and 10 years in an office setting,” Smith said. “She also has the ability to learn new software quickly, has extensive customer service experience and clerical experience in a busy hospital … She also had excellent references.”
The commissioners also accepted a bid of $4,200 from Dave’s World for a Fujitsu heat pump for the telecommunications center. Roberts said that a report from the Public Utilities Commissioner noted some deficiencies in the center, especially temperature control. The recommended temperature is from 65 to 75 degrees, but the telecommunications supervisor said that it sometimes varies from 85 to 100 degrees.
The next meeting of the Commissioners is Aug. 20.