LINCOLN, Maine — Officer Patti McLaughlin is the town’s newest police sergeant.
McLaughlin began her new job on March 22 after being reviewed during an interview conducted by Police Chief Scott Minckler and town Assessor Ruth Birtz, who was filling in for Town Manager Lisa Goodwin. Goodwin was off, dealing with a death in her family, Minckler said.
“When it happened, it was too late to call off the interviews,” Minckler said Tuesday.
Minckler called McLaughlin “an excellent candidate with very good leadership skills” who had been serving as the department’s interim patrol supervisor since mid-February.
“When she gets going on an investigation, she keeps on it and follows up with it until she can make an arrest,” Minckler said.
The six-member 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.
She comes to the department, Flagg said, with wide law enforcement experience. 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 in February 2008.
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.
As sergeant, she replaces Kevin Giberson, who rejoined the Millinocket Police Department late last year.
McLaughlin is the town’s first female sergeant and the only female supervisor in the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes regions. East Millinocket and Millinocket police and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department all lack female sergeants.
Saddled with heavy turnover in the past year, Lincoln Police Department has two hires to go before it is at full strength, Minckler said. One candidate awaits a final background check before joining the department as a patrol officer. Interviews are now being conducted for another patrol slot, Minckler said.
Both positions should be filled in the next six weeks or so.