Jan 28, 2011

Update on kerosene, gasoline mix in Gorham

Statement from Little Mart, courtesy of Maine Public Safety

GORHAM - Since the contaminated kerosene was identified on Thursday, Little Mart has taken action to inform the public, pump out contaminated product from customer locations, perform inspections by qualified technicians and provide refunds or replacement fuel to customers.   Upon further review of inventory and delivery records, it has been determined the kerosene product was contaminated at approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25.  Little Mart personnel placed the kerosene pump out of service approximately 12 noon on Thursday, Jan. 27 once the contamination was realized.  The local fire department was notified at that time and warnings were posted at the Little Mart immediately.  The contaminated kerosene was removed from the storage tank and the tank has been replenished with new kerosene fuel that is safe for use.

The overall volume of contaminated kerosene sold was less than 300 gallons, not 400 gallons as originally estimated.  There were less than 50 purchases of contaminated kerosene between Jan. 25 and Jan 27.   Numerous potential customers have called or visited the store and Little Mart personnel are responding to all of their claims.

Little Mart considers the safety of its customers and the general public as its top priority and will continue working with the local fire department to ensure appropriate actions are taken to resolve this situation.  Little Mart would like to thank the Gorham Fire Department, the State Fire Marshal and the local news media for getting word out to the general public regarding this situation.  Little Mart encourages any customers that may have concerns or questions to contact the store or the Gorham Fire Department.

Jan 27, 2011

Fire Marshall warns of kerosene mixed with gasoline in Gorham

Courtesy of Maine Public Safety

GORHAM - The State Fire Marshal's Office is warning the public that kerosene sold at a Gorham convenience store within the past two days was mistakenly contaminated with gasoline.  Fire Marshal John Dean said the mixture could cause an explosion and urged anyone who purchased kerosene from the "Little Mart" at the intersection of Routes 202 and 237 in Gorham since Tuesday at noontime should stop using the product immediately.

The Fire Marshal's Office was notified this afternoon by Gorham Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre and Gorham was using its reverse 911 calling system to notify residents.   Dean said a delivery of gasoline was mistakenly pumped into the kerosene tank on Tuesday and that some 400 gallons  of the kerosene-gasoline mixture have been purchased in the 48 hour period before the mistake was discovered this afternoon .

Dean urged anyone who had purchased kerosene from the "Little Mart" in the past two days to stop using the product .  Dean said any heating devices fueled by the contaminated mixture should be removed from any enclosed living space immediately.

Those who have purchased the contaminated kerosene can return it to the "Little Mart" for a full refund.

The store's phone number is 892-4153.

Anyone with any concerns can also contact Chief Lefebvre at the Gorham Fire Department at 839-5581.

Jan 14, 2011

Funeral for Maine State Police lieutenant to be held Monday

Lt. Charles "Chip" Howe

Courtesy of Maine Public Safety

VASSALBORO - Adjacent to a room that bears his name, funeral services for retired State Police Lieutenant Charles Howe will take place Monday at 10 a.m. at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.  Howe, better known as “Chip,” died early Wednesday morning at his home in Vassalboro after declining health from a rare neurological disease.  He was 59.

He served the State Police for 31 years – the last 18 of those years in the training division – and he played a hand in the training of every police officer and state trooper in Maine from 1987 to his retirement in 2005.  The academy was located on Silver Street in Waterville for most of those years, but Howe also helped oversee the relocation of the academy in 2001 to the former Oak Grove Coburn School in Vassalboro, where his services will take place Monday.

Chip joined the State Police in 1974 and initially patrolled in Troop F (Aroostook County) and Troop J (Washington & Hancock counties). He was named Trooper of the Year in 1983 and transferred to the academy in 1987 as a sergeant and was promoted to lieutenant in charge of training in 1995.  During those 18 years he served at the academy, close to 2,000 Maine police officers were trained there.  The weight room in the training center is named in his honor.

Following his retirement, Chip served as an analyst for the State Police Computer Crimes Unit. Prior to joining the State Police, Chip was a watchman for the Maine Forest Service on top of Bigelow Mountain and he also served as a forest ranger. In all he had 37 years of state service. Always physically fit – he was an avid skier, runner, bicyclist and hiker.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, and four grown children.

Jan 11, 2011

Maine State Police make arrests after high speed chase

HANCOCK COUNTY – Maine State Police make arrests after high speed chase.

On Jan. 1, troopers responded to a citizen report of a vehicle on Route 182 in the Cherryfield area that matched the description of the vehicle that was believed to have been involved in an armed robbery in Ellsworth on Dec. 30, 2010.  The vehicle was a Silver Saab bearing Maine dealer plate 92K.  Tpr. Dave Barnard located the vehicle on Route 182 as it pulled into the parking area on Tunk Lake in Township 10.

Barnard made contact with the operator who refused to comply with Tpr. Barnard’s commands.  The vehicle then left the parking area and began traveling east on Route 182 at speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour.  The operator lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of the Eastbrook Road and Route 182 and the vehicle struck a utility pole.

The driver, later identified Hyunkook Korsiak, 29, of Harpswell, fled the scene on foot.  The passenger in the vehicle, Joseph Miller, 24, of Whitneyville, was located near the scene and was arrested for receiving stolen property (class B).  The investigation disclosed that the vehicle had been reported stolen from an auto dealership in Brunswick on Dec. 26, 2010.

A short time later, troopers received information that the driver (Korsiak) had stolen a second vehicle from a residence on the Eastbrook Road in Franklin.  It was determined that the vehicle was a red 1992 Saab belonging to a woman from Trenton.  Sgt. Glenn Moshier of the Ellsworth Police Department located the vehicle on Route 179 and attempted to stop the vehicle.

Korsiak again failed to stop and continued into Ellsworth.  Korsiak pulled into a driveway on State Street and was taken into custody without further incident.  Korsiak was charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking or transfer (class B), one count of theft by unlawful taking or transfer (class C), eluding (class C), passing a roadblock (class C), criminal speeding (class E) and driving to endanger (class E).

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and Ellsworth Police Department also assisted at the scene.      

The Maine State Police extended thanks to the concerned and alert citizen who reported the whereabouts of the vehicle.

Jan 8, 2011

Veazie Police have a new website

VEAZIE - The Veazie Police Department recently launched a sleek new website. It contains contact information, frequently asked questions, employment information, mission statement, officer down memorial page, town ordinances, and law enforcement-related links and more. Check it out a http://veaziepd.net/.

Jan 6, 2011

Auburn Police Department offers Citizens' Police Academy

Courtesy of the Auburn Police Department, via their Facebook page.

AUBURN - The Auburn Police Department proudly announces the newest session of the Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA). This exciting 10-week program, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 7, offers community members insight into how local police officers perform their duties and how this outstanding department serves the community. Participants will meet at the Auburn Police Department each Monday from 6  to 8:30 p.m.

The goal of the CPA is to foster better communication between citizens and police through education. Graduates of the academy learn about the structure and activities of their police department, share their knowledge and experiences with their friends and neighbors, and quite often go on to become volunteers with the department. The CPA is a series of informational classes, a behind- the-scenes look at the Auburn Police Department. The program operates on the premise that informed and educated citizens will be more supportive of police officers and will be more productive within their own neighborhood and community.

The APD has offered the CPA for several years, and always find it to be a rewarding experience for the participants as well as the officers. “We all benefit from enhancing citizen understanding of the role & function of the police department,” says Auburn’s Chief Phil Crowell. “Participants will not be trained as police officers, but will get a fun and informative overview of the Departments’ functions and operation.”

 All of the course instructors are members of the law enforcement profession and will present material on topics such as:

Basic patrol functions;
Use of force (Lethat, less than lethal);
OUI detection and enforcement;
Domestic violence;
K-9 demonstration;
Drug enforcement;
Crime scene investigation and much more.

Class size is limited and will be filled on a first-come basis. Participants must attend at least eight classes to pass the Citizens’ Police Academy. A background check will be performed on all applicants. Applicants with felony convictions or extensive criminal backgrounds will not be accepted.

Anyone interested in receiving an application for the Citizens’ Police Academy should visit the Auburn Police Department at One Minot Avenue, visit www.auburnpd.com to download the application, or contact Liz Allen, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Coordinator at 333-6650 or lallen@auburnmaine.gov. Application deadline is February 1, 2011.

Jan 5, 2011

Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office promotions and new hires

BANGOR – The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office recently promoted two deputies and hired two more.
Deputy John Knappe was promoted to detective and Deputy Roy Peary was promoted to sergeant.

(Detective John Knappe)
Knappe has been in law enforcement for 19 years, starting his career in Orono in 1992, before signing on with Brewer Police from 2000 to 2004. He deployed to Iraq with the Army Reserve with Scout Sniper Squad Leader with the 100th BN 442nd Infantry of Hawaii for a year and half. Upon his return in 2006, he joined the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. He’s a member of the Special Response Team, which is deployed for high-risk incidents, including stand-offs and home invasions, and was awarded the SRT Member of the Year for 2009.
Knappe looks forward to conducting in-depth investigations for various scenes, including felony-level crimes.

(Sgt. Roy Peary)
Peary has been in law enforcement for around eight years. He began his career with the Old Town Police Department in August of 2003, before moving to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
As sergeant, he will support the other deputies on his crew, and arriving as backup to any major scenes.
“They’re outstanding employees. They’re dedicated to the agency and show a high level of professionalism and are responsive to the public,” said Chief Deputy Troy Morton.
Steven Saucier and Patty McLaughlin were hired as full-time patrol deputies.
Saucier worked for Searsport Police Department since 2002, and came on full time in 2004.

(Deputy Steven Saucier)
“One thing I like about it is the knowledge that you can make a positive difference in someone’s life,” said Saucier.
(Deputy Patricia McLaughlin)
McLaughlin worked for the Lincoln Police Department for three years. Prior to that she was a dispatcher for the Maine State Police and also worked in the district attorney’s office in Bangor.
“I’ve worked alongside [The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office] for years. I was just looking to become part of the agency,” she said. She noted that the independence of the work and the opportunity for growth were part of the appeal.
“It’s a great group of people to work with,” she said. “I’ve always been a part of their extended family. Now I’ve been welcomed into the fold.”

Jan 4, 2011

Camden names Lt. Randy Gagne chief of police

(Chief Randy Gagne)

CAMDEN – On Jan. 1, Lt. Randy Gagne officially took over the duties of chief of police for the Camden Police Department. He will be taking over for Chief Phil Roberts, who has been chief for 10 years.
Gagne ahs been with the Camden Police Department for more than 21 years, and has been lieutenant for more than eight. He is also the lead instructor for defensive tactics at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Camden is Gagne’s hometown, and he considers it beneficial to be able to work in the same town where he grew up.
“I think it’s a great thing to work in the community you grew up in because you know the people,” he said. “[Camden] still has the hometown feel and the people are good to deal with.”
Gagne had been second in command at the Camden Police Department, and expressed interest in taking over the chief’s position. After an oral board interview, he was invited back to discuss the position in an open forum and at a select board meeting he was approved to succeed the chief.
“The response that I’ve gotten from the members of the public – people who know me and followed my career – called and expressed congratulations … It’s been very nice. I couldn’t be happier. I appreciate the support of those people and I’ll make sure I do the best job I can in my new position.”

(Sgt. Michael Geary will assume the role of lieutenant this summer)
Sgt. Michael Geary has been appointed to fill Gagne’s position of lieutenant around June of 2011.
“We worked really well together our entire careers,” said Gagne. “He has the most experience as a supervising sergeant.”
Geary became interested in law enforcement after becoming part of a local Explorers program through the sheriff’s office.
“I started riding with them and then went to college. A full time position opened here and I’ve been here ever since,” he said. “I like the challenge. Day to day, nothing is ever repetitive in this job.”

Jan 1, 2011

Hands-on learning: Finals

This is the final installment of the ongoing blog where I shadowed the 19th BLETP cadets during their defensive tactics MARC course as well as other programs. You can start at the beginning here, or read the feature story as it appeared in The Maine Edge here.

VASSALBORO – In colleges and schools when it’s getting time to graduate that means finals. At the Maine Criminal Justice Academy there are also tests – some written, some very much hands-on.
In the defensive tactics course, the testing was administered in the last couple weeks of class. The cadets had to show that they understood and could apply the techniques and were scored appropriately.

But there was also the practical portion which happened early in December.
The cadets had to engage an instructor in a scenario-based encounter where they had to go hands-on with the subject.

 I’ll only say that both the cadets and the instructors had their work cut out for them.