BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway said Wednesday that the city’s Police Department is close to selecting its next downtown walking beat officer.
The position opened up when Officer Russell Twaddell III retired in February after a 25-year career with the Bangor Police Department, the last two years of which he spent walking the same streets his father, Russell Twaddell Jr., patrolled decades ago.
Hathaway told attendees of the Downtown Bangor Town Hall Meeting at Bagel Central that about half a dozen officers had applied for the post. The winning candidate will be selected next week and will assume his or her new downtown duties on April 4, he said.
The new beat officer will work the same noon to 8 p.m. shift as Twaddell did and, like Twaddell, will be held over until 10 or 11 p.m. five or six times during the summer when major events, such as shows that are part of the Waterfront Concert Series, take place.
The walking beat was a fixture when Twaddell’s father was on the force but fizzled out at some point. The Police Department decided to revive the beat in early 2013 after downtown business owners, residents and the City Council raised concerns about a drastic increase in panhandling, loitering and drug use among groups of people downtown, especially in the Pickering Square area.
Also during the gathering, the city’s new downtown coordinator and cultural liaison was introduced.