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At the City Council’s Public Safety Subcommittee meeting on June 8, Deputy Police Chief Craig Andersen presented an update on some of the Sanford Police Department’s recent activities.

  • He started off with an update on the May 5 fire on Spruce St. Police officers responded at 3:30 a.m. and assisted with evacuating residents. A total of six people were displaced, and the Red Cross has provided assistance. Officer Cody Rickevicius has been recognized for his work assisting the residents of the building. The day after the fire, investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s office, in conjunction with Detectives from the Sanford Police Department, arrested a suspect on a charge of arson.
  • A lengthy investigation into catalytic converter thefts, involving most of the detective division, resulted in the arrest of a suspect last month for Class C theft, a felony. The suspect was spotted under a car on Elm St. in the early morning hours, then fled in a Jeep when he spotted Sanford officers approaching, and got away. A day or so later, Wells Police attempted to stop the same vehicle on an unrelated matter. He led them on a pursuit to Lebanon where he ran out of gas. Evidence links the suspect to multiple catalytic converter thefts. He is not believed to be the only person responsible, but it was noted that the number of cases has fallen off since his arrest. One theft would be a misdemeanor, but because they were able to link him to a number of cases, it aggregated to a felony charge.
  • The Department’s new speed enforcement initiative started this week on School St. with positive results. Various areas of the City that have been determined to be prone to speeding will be targeted.
  • The Police Department has a new School Resource Officer, Paul Goldsmith. He is taking over for Officer Mike Gordon, who was thanked for his 13 years of service in the position. Officer Gordon is looking forward to going back to patrol for awhile.
  • The child safety seat installation training begins on June 21st in Gorham. The Department is sending four officers to this week-long program. The goal of the training is for the Department to have an officer available on each shift to assist residents who need help with car seat installation.  A partnership with the Bureau of Highway Safety will also enable the Department to become a distribution center for the seats, enabling the City to provide free car seats to families in need.
  • Detective Andrew Simmons will be attending a multi-day class on death investigation.
  • The Children’s Advocacy Center is organizing a response team to assist in combatting child trafficking. This is just in the beginning stages.
  • A partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service is also in the works. They have assets to help local police departments with sex offender registry violations.
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland sent a letter thanking the Department for the recent cleanup of the former homeless encampment at Notre Dame Cemetery.

Deputy Chief Andersen and Officer Eric Small also reported to the Subcommittee about a new partnership with the University of New England. An intern program is being set up which will have a UNE senior or graduate student in social work working alongside an experienced officer to assist with people in crisis, substance abuse and other issues. The intern will work 20-25 hours a week and there will be no cost to the City for this program. It is scheduled to begin in late August or early September. The Kennebunk Police Department has had a similar partnership for the past year and it has been very successful.

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