An Edgecomb resident has joined the Damariscotta Police Department as a seasonal parking enforcement officer.
Margaret Graham, 19, started work Monday, May 29, by assisting other Damariscotta police officers in downtown Damariscotta during the Twin Villages Memorial Day parade. Her first day “walking the beat” was Tuesday, May 30.
Graham’s father, Mark Graham, is a reserve officer with the Damariscotta Police Department, which contributed to her interest in the position.
“I’m really interested in the public service and the community aspect of (the job),” Graham said.
As the parking enforcement officer, Graham will be responsible for enforcing the town’s traffic and parking ordinance. She will also be the department’s “eyes and ears” in the downtown.
“I’m looking forward to interacting with the community and talking with the people,” Graham said. “That’s probably the part I’m most looking forward to, the social aspect and getting to know the people downtown.”
Interim Damariscotta Police Chief Jason Warlick said he is impressed with the maturity and initiative Graham brings to the job.
“She’s a wonderful addition to the department,” Warlick said.
She will be the sole parking enforcement officer for the summer, and will be downtown Monday-Friday. John Mitkus, a veteran parking enforcement officer, will cover shifts for Graham occasionally, Warlick said.
Warlick asks residents, employees of downtown businesses, and visitors to review the town’s traffic and parking ordinance and come to him with any questions.
“It’s clear in the ordinance that the three-hour time limit in the (municipal) parking lot is for each day, not just three hours in that one spot. If you’re going out and moving your car from spot to spot every three hours, our officers are trained to see that and will give you a ticket,” Warlick said. “The police department did not generate the rules, but we do have to enforce them.”
The parking spaces on Main Street have a two-hour time limit, which will also be enforced. If someone feels they have been given a ticket in error, they can come to the police department and fill out a form to appeal the ticket. Warlick will decide whether to grant the appeal.
Warlick said the driveway next to the Colby & Gale service station is private property, and should not be used to go in and out of the parking lot. In addition, he asks all pedestrians to use the crosswalks when crossing the street.