By Jordan Wilson, City of Sanford Communications Coordinator
Sanford Regional Communications Center Update
At the City Council’s Public Safety Subcommittee meeting on August 8, 2023, Sanford Regional Communications Center (Dispatch) Director William Tower discussed the plan to purchase new Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) software. The software they are currently using is set to stop working in about 5 years. Dispatch has reviewed 5 CAD options and are narrowing down the selection while drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP). In the month of July, the Dispatch Center handled 10,182 CAD calls, which is 505 fewer calls than the month of June, but still consistent with monthly volumes. Director Tower indicated the Dispatch Center was in good shape in terms of vacancies. Statewide dispatch centers are 70% staffed, while Sanford is 95% staffed
Police Department Staffing Updates
The Police Department recently welcomed three blue-pinned officers to their ranks: Officers Christopher Gosling, Kyle Cutler, and Michael Kotsonis. All three officers join the department from other agencies, bringing a combined 53 years of experience. Currently, they are undergoing field training with an experienced Sanford officer to familiarize themselves with the department’s policies and procedures. Following this brief training period, you will find them actively engaged in our community.
Chief Anderson discussed the hiring of experienced versus inexperienced officers, emphasizing the importance of a balanced mix of both. To avoid a “retirement cliff,” the PD must ensure the recruitment of both new and inexperienced officers. However, hiring experienced officers also offers various cost-saving benefits.
Major Gagne discussed staffing vacancies within the Department. Three officers will soon be departing for the academy, and the School Resource Officers (SRO) will return to the schools. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Mental Health Unit are currently each short at least one officer. Once the Police Department is fully restaffed, these positions will be refilled.
Police Cadet Program
The Sanford Police Cadet Program is gaining momentum after the COVID era. Currently, there are 12 cadets enrolled in the program led by School Resource Officer (SRO) Paul Goldsmith. The cadets meet once a week from 8 am to 4 pm, covering a wide array of police responsibilities including scenarios, report writing, physical fitness assessments, evaluation tests, volunteering and more. The group also embarked on a hike up Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire.
Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG)
The Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, a primary source of federal funding for state and local governments, are calculated using a formula mandated by Congress. This formula can be enhanced by a state’s percentage of the national population and the state’s portion of Part 1 violent crime statistics. The state’s allocation is divided 60/40 between the state and the eligible local government units. The share of funds allocated to the Sanford Police Department this year is $17,239.00. The department receives a Byrne JAG grant annually and has allocated the funds to support various department programs, including training, specialty details and equipment. The Police Administration seeks input from the workforce regarding the optimal utilization of these funds, as well as considerations regarding their non-budgeted needs. The Police Administration is also seeking input and opinions from the Public Safety Committee as they finalize the grant presentation to the full Council on August 15th.
July Call for Services and Arrests and Summons
In the month of July, the Sanford Police Department had 3,306 total calls for service. See a portion of this month’s arrests and summons below:
- Saturday, July 1st: A 37-year-old from Pawcatuck, CT, was summonsed for operating under the influence.
- Wednesday, July 5th: A robbery stopped in progress on Industrial Ave. led to the arrests of three individuals. A 21-year-old and 33-year-old from Sanford, and a 21-year-old from Wells.
- Friday, July 7th: A 35-year-old shoplifter from Springvale was arrested.
- Saturday, July 8th: A summons was served to a 39-year-old from Sanford for violating a protective order.
- Monday, July 10th: A vehicle stop on Elm St. led to the arrest of a 37-year-old from North Berwick. The individual was charged as a fugitive from justice, unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, and violating conditions of release.
- Friday, July 14th: Following a disturbance on Main St., a 15-year-old juvenile was arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief.
- Thursday, July 20th: A 44-year-old from Sanford was arrested after being charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and failure to provide correct name, address, and DOB.
- Friday, July 21st: A domestic disturbance led to the arrest of a 54-year-old from Sanford. The individual was charged with domestic violence assault and violating conditions of release.
- Wednesday, July 26th: A vehicle stop on High St. led to a 27-year-old from Berwick being summonsed for operating a vehicle with a suspended registration.
- Monday, July 31st: Following a motor vehicle accident that caused property damage on Main St., a 49-year-old Sanford resident was arrested for operating under the influence (no test).
The complete Police Logs may be viewed at https://www.sanfordmaine.org/departments/police/daily_press_logs.php#outer-1267.