BANGOR, Maine — The city’s new police chief was cleaning his newly issued weapon Monday afternoon and apparently shot himself in the hand, according to a press release issued by a city official Tuesday.
Chief Mark Hathaway, a 25-year veteran officer who was selected as the city’s chief in April, and other officers had just returned from training with their new guns in Brewer when the shooting took place.
“At approximately 5:15 p.m., while officers were cleaning their new guns at the Bangor police station, Chief Mark Hathaway sustained a non-life threatening injury to his left hand in what appears to be an accidental discharge of his duty weapon,” City Manager Cathy Conlow said in the statement.
Lt. Tim Reid is investigating the shooting. Messages left for Reid and Hathaway were not returned Tuesday.
Hathaway was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment and later released, the press release states.
The gun Hathaway was using — a .45-caliber semiautomatic Glock — is new for the department, said Sgt. Paul Edwards.
“There are different mechanisms in this gun that is for sure,” Edwards said.
The city got a Justice Assistance Grant from the federal government last fall that provided the $10,800 needed to purchase the new weapons, said Bob Farrar, Bangor’s assistant city manager. The department currently has 82 sworn officers.
“We essentially replaced the department’s firearms,” he said. “We had Sig Sauer .45-caliber semiautomatic [handguns] and moved to Glocks.”
Every officer in the department has been issued the new weapon, and the chief was part of the first round of training. His injury was to his pinky finger, which is still intact, Edwards said.
“[Hathaway’s] message is going to be train, train, train,” the sergeant said. “We’re always reporting [about] people outside accidentally shooting themselves. It can happen to a police officer too. Gun safety is extremely important. That is the message he wants to relay.”
A Maine State Police lieutenant accidentally discharged his weapon in February at a staff meeting, when he shifted in his seat and his holstered weapon went off. An investigation concluded in May by a division of the Maine State Police was unable to determine why his firearm accidentally discharged during the computer training session.
Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.