With only one full-time officer on the Wiscasset Police Department roster, the town is relying on the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to fill the gaps in the patrol schedule while it rebuilds the department’s staff.
Sgt. Craig Worster is the only full-time officer on the Wiscasset roster. Five reserve officers work a total of about 40 hours a week.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will cover 86 hours a week, according to Sheriff Todd Brackett and Wiscasset Town Manager Marian Anderson. Brackett declined to say whether the sheriff’s office will always have a deputy in Wiscasset during those hours.
Former Wiscasset Police Chief Jeffrey Lange’s last day was July 26. Two full-time patrol officers left recently. The position of school resource officer has been vacant since Worster’s promotion to sergeant in September 2017.
The resignations followed the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen’s decision to ask voters whether to keep the police department for the second time in three years. The selectmen later reversed the decision.
The town hopes to hire a new chief by mid-September, according to Anderson. Interviews were to begin the week of Aug. 13.
The town received seven applications for the chief’s position and has applications for patrol officers as well. Anderson wants to hire a chief first, so the new chief can help hire the other three officers.
Brackett agreed to temporarily extend the county’s coverage of Wiscasset in a Tuesday, Aug. 14 letter to Anderson.
“The level of coverage you are asking for … will be difficult for me to provide for more than 30 days without it having an adverse impact on my budget and the services I currently provide to the remainder of the County … If your needs are going to go beyond 30 days, I would be glad to meet with you and or the Board of Selectmen to see if we can find a way to continue to provide the level of service you may require,” Brackett said in the letter.
“I am also prepared to discuss a long-term solution to your policing needs, which I believe would provide significant savings to the Town without diminishing the level of police coverage the Town is accustomed to,” Brackett said in the letter. “I feel we are uniquely positioned to serve the Town well in this regard.”
“The town of Wiscasset has a great working relationship with (the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office),” Anderson said. “They have supported us in the past and are supporting us now. We certainly appreciate their partnership.”