Damariscotta Police Chief Ron Young promoted Officer Jason Warlick to the rank of sergeant during a brief ceremony at the Damariscotta town office Nov. 19.
The sergeant ranks second to the chief in the department. As sergeant, he will continue to work patrol shifts, although he will take on more responsibilities.
He will help supervise department personnel, respond to after-hours issues like felony crimes or serious accidents, oversee officer training and vehicle maintenance, ensure the department complies with labor law, and make the schedule, among other tasks.
Warlick, 35, started work with the Damariscotta Police Department as a reserve officer in November 2011 and as a full-time officer in March 2012.
His pre-Damariscotta law enforcement career dates back several more years and includes stints as a corrections officer at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset and as a full-time and reserve municipal police officer.
He is a December 2012 graduate of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.
Warlick was one of eight applicants for the job. A committee consisting of Young, Town Manager Matt Lutkus, Town Clerk Cheryl Pinkham, and local businessman Todd Maurer interviewed three applicants.
“He went up against some guys that had a lot more experience, more supervisory experience, but he’s definitely proved himself since I’ve been here,” Young said.
“He knows the town, he’s respected by the town, he’s respected by his peers here,” Young said. “He’s definitely a leader. He leads by example.”
Warlick discussed his personal goals and his goals for the department during an interview prior to the ceremony.
He will continue to place a high priority on what those in law enforcement call “community policing,” a philosophy that stresses positive interaction with residents.
For example, Warlick has read to the kindergarten and first-grade students at Great Salt Bay Community School and visited day cares, and he regularly makes the rounds of local businesses.
He hopes to resurrect the department’s D.A.R.E. program at Great Salt Bay Community School, dormant since the departure of the department’s only D.A.R.E. officer in May 2013.
Warlick plans to seek more training for himself and the department as a whole. He looks forward to participating in leadership programs in order to learn “the proper ways to deal with employees and to deal with situations and problems effectively,” he said.
He would like the department’s officers to undergo crisis intervention training to prepare for crises that involve people with mental-health issues.
A basic knowledge of mental illnesses and their symptoms can help officers find solutions during a crisis and lead to “a more positive outcome,” Warlick said.
Warlick said he likes working in Damariscotta. Damariscotta’s size allows the department to be proactive and engage with the community, instead of being solely reactive to accidents, crime, and emergencies.
“I enjoy knowing the people in my town, and in a small-town environment you have that ability to know your people,” Warlick said.
He enjoys community events like the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and the many other festivals and parades that take place downtown. “It’s just a fun place to work,” he said.
He is excited and proud about the promotion, as well as “a little nervous” about his new responsibilities, he said.
“I like challenges and I look forward to continuing to set realistic goals and obtaining the goals,” Warlick said. “I really think our department is going to thrive and it’s just going to continue to grow and get better and better.”
“I look forward to being able to work with the guys and continue to grow the department and work with the citizens and keep the town safe,” he said.
Warlick lives in Wiscasset with his wife and 7-year-old daughter.