Lincoln Academy is once again partnering with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to bring a School Resource Officer to the academy’s campus. Deputy Mark Fortin started working at Lincoln Academy on Jan. 31.
Deputy Fortin brings with him over 30 years of experience in the criminal justice field, including 12 years of community policing, 20 years of probation and parole experience, and 2 years of experience as a domestic violence investigator at the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office. He was recently sworn in as a deputy at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and will work a blended schedule at LA and LCSO. He will be on the LA campus five days a week.
While this is Fortin’s first time serving as a school resource officer, he has plenty of experience with young people. His own children, now 17 and 24, have been involved with youth sports, and Fortin has spent two decades coaching, hosting, and hanging out with his kids and their friends and teammates. He is looking forward to spending time with LA students.
“This is a new chapter for me,” said Fortin. “I retired in September [from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office] and thought I was going to blend in and not work in law enforcement anymore, but then this opportunity came my way. It’s a fresh new challenge. This is a unique campus, and I am amazed what the school has to offer; so much is available to the kids. I look forward to meeting new people and making a difference.”
“We have a great working relationship with both the Damariscotta Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and they are always incredibly supportive of our work at LA,” said Dean of Students Jake Abbott, who serves as the liaison between LA and the LCSO. “Ultimately there is no substitute for having an officer on campus daily. We are happy to have (Deputy) Fortin here, and we think the students will benefit from his presence in multiple ways: as a role model, a mentor, and someone who can help keep campus safe.”
In his day to day work at the school, Fortin plans to have an open door policy, and hopes to get to know students outside of his police role. He sees relationship building as essential to campus safety.
“My ultimate responsibility is the safety and security of the campus, students, and faculty, and making sure everyone has a safe day,” he said.