Wiscasset Police Chief Jeffrey Lange plans to move to New Hampshire with his family and transition to a career in the private sector, at least for now, after his last day at the department, Thursday, July 26.
Lange will focus on his business, Identity Services Associates, and on the nonprofit TERA Project. He will depart after two-plus years as chief. He was sworn in May 16, 2016.
TERA stands for Training and Employment for Recovering Addicts. Lange started the nonprofit to help people with addiction, after they attend a recovery center, to live healthier and more financially stable lives.
The nonprofit uses a community approach, working with law enforcement, medical professionals, treatment providers, and teachers to provide job training and employment opportunities to people in recovery.
Lange is the executive director of the New England-based nonprofit. He wants to expand it nationally. “I’m a big proponent for helping individuals with disease, such as addiction,” he said.
Lange will also focus on growing Identity Services Associates, which he recently purchased from founder Jane Carpenter.
The company provides services after data breaches and to victims of identity theft. Identity Services Associates also works with police departments. It provides breach alerts and educational materials so departments can teach classes about how to protect against identity theft.
Carpenter established the company as Maine Identity Services LLC, but Lange is expanding its services outside the state.
Lange said he is unsure whether he will go back to police work.
The job in Wiscasset was Lange’s second as a chief of police. His first was at the Paris Police Department in Paris, Maine.
He has nearly 30 years of experience in public safety, with past work as a firefighter, corrections officer, part-time and full-time police officer, and a criminal investigator for the U.S. Department of Defense.
During his time as chief, Lange said the Wiscasset Police Department has become a more community-minded police force.
“Part of this job is actually getting out of the cruiser and walking around and talking to individuals, and having that approachability is very important in today’s policing,” Lange said. “Policing isn’t just black and white. It’s not like how it was when I first started. It has to evolve and involve the community.”
Wiscasset’s search for a new police chief is ongoing. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 20.
After the deadline for applications closes, Wiscasset Town Manager Marion Anderson will review the applications and appoint a hiring committee to conduct interviews.
The Wiscasset Police Department also has openings for a full-time police officer/school resource officer and three reserve officers, according to Lange.
The department currently has five reserve officers. Three more would allow the department to operate 24/7, Lange said.
“Retention of the officers is always a concern when the town of Wiscasset doesn’t pay as well as surrounding towns,” Lange said. “In my opinion, the town of Wiscasset needs to get creative with what they have to offer in order to attract candidates and keep essential personnel.”
Lange suggested gym memberships as one creative benefit that could help retain officers.
For the future of the Wiscasset Police Department, Lange has two hopes.
“The citizens have voted to continue with policing services for the town of Wiscasset,” he said. “I’m hopeful that continues, and that the next chief is involved with community efforts as much as I was and even expands on that if possible.”