BATH, Maine — Michelle Small, the Bath Police Department’s first woman supervisor, followed in the footsteps of her great-grandfather when she went into the field of law enforcement.
Bath police officer Michelle Small was recently promoted to corporal, the department’s first female supervisor. She is with her new canine partner, Sampson.
After joining the department in 2001, Small was certified as a canine patrol officer two years later and was promoted to the rank of corporal Oct. 18. Her ancestor, Charles Small, was city marshal in Bath more than a century ago.
“I feel like I have nothing to necessarily prove, but just (want) to make sure that I’m doing everything right; it’s pretty challenging,” she said. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunities that the police department has provided to me.”
It is a challenging, yet rewarding, move for the 38-year-old Bath woman. With the recent retirement of her dog, Keylo, Small has been working with a new K9 partner, Sampson, who is certified in drug detection and patrol work.
“I’ll be working the streets with him during the day,” and be on call at night, Small said of the dog, who is equipped with a $700 Kevlar vest from Vest Indiana K9s.
Lt. Robert Savary said Small has “done a great job” in her time at the department, and “has really brought the K9 program along. … (She is) very reliable, comes out all hours of the night with the dog to help us track people (and) look for evidence. … She’s a very committed professional.”
Small’s promotion was one of several in the department. The recent retirement of Sgt. Jeff Shiers left a vacancy that was filled by Nathan Gould, who was promoted from corporal; Small filled Gould’s position.
Savary was promoted to lieutenant earlier this year from his detective sergeant rank to replace Stan Cielinski; David Beauregard took Savary’s vacated position, and Beauregard’s drug detective job was taken by Andrew Booth.
Officer Ted Raedel has become a school resource officer. With three vacancies in the patrol division, the department hired Eric Bryan, Mark Steele and Charles Reece.
As for Small’s glass-ceiling-breaking promotion, Savary said Holly Dawson was a detective in the department several years ago, but was not a supervisor.