Maine: 27 year-old party-goer stabbed during a fight in South Portland

Police: A fight outside of a ‘large party’ led to one person being stabbed on Powers Road in South Portland
Author: Clay Gordon

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — One person was stabbed early Saturday morning during a fight in South Portland. According to police, the fight started around 3:15 a.m at a ‘large party’ and spilled outside into a yard on Powers Road.

Stabbing on Powers Rd, South Portland

The 27-year-old victim was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland with non-life threatening injuries. Police say there is no danger to the public.  Witnesses told South Portland P.D. a group of four or five men fled down Cannon Road following the fight.

Stabbing on Powers Rd, South Portland
Police are asking anyone with information about the suspects to call (207) 874-8575,
At least it wasn’t a gun. God bless Maine.

Maine: Car chase leads to officer-involved shooting in Medford, officials say

A 40-year-old man is being treated for his injuries after an officer-involved shooting on Partridge Lane in Medford on Friday, April 26. No officials were hurt in the incident.

MEDFORD, Maine — A 40-year-old man is being treated for his injuries after a car chase resulted in an officer-involved shooting in Medford.

On Friday, April 26, Chief Deputy Todd Lyford of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office tried to stop a vehicle in Medford. The driver was a man who is wanted on arrest warrants, according to Deputy Robert Young of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Damien Pickel of the Milo Police Department joined Lyford in a low speed chase of the car that ended on Partridge Lane in Medford.

One of the officers shot the man, according to Young. The man is recovering at a Bangor area hospital, and his identity has not yet been released.

Neither of the officers involved were hurt in the incident.

Deputy Robert Young on Medford incident

Partridge Lane was closed for investigation, which is still ongoing.

The Office of the Maine Attorney General is investigating this case, along with the Maine State Police, Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office, and Milo Police Department.

This story will be updated as more information becomes made available.

Portland, Maine: Neighborhood on alert for man who violently broke into one home, tried to enter another

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Police in Portland are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who forced his way into a woman’s home and then assaulted her and tried to force his way into another home in the same neighborhood.

Police believe the man is the same person even though the break ins happened weeks apart.

On November 15, around 6 p.m., a woman was assaulted in her Woodford Street apartment. Police say the woman was opening her door when a man forced her into the apartment and assaulted her. The woman recognized her attacker as a man she had encountered earlier on Hartley Street.

Police say the man is white, in his 30s with a pasty complexion and patchy, brown beard. He is 5′ 10″ with a slim build. Police say the man was wearing a New England Patriots blue knit cap, a puffy jacket (gray or blue) and blue jeans.

On December 4, around 5:30 p.m., a man had a physical altercation with a man who was trying to break into his home through a window on Highland Street. The man ran down the road to Brighton Avenue.

Police say the suspect in this case was described as a white man, 6’ in his 30s with a pale complexion and dark facial hair. He was wearing glasses and dressed in dark clothing including a hoodie, and believed to be on drugs.

Police believe the suspect is the same man in both cases because of the similarities in the descriptions and the proximity of the incidents.

Police are reminding Portland residents that even though “Portland remains a safe city” they should be aware of surroundings, keep exterior and an interior lights on, scan the area before leaving your car, keep an eye out for your neighbors’ homes, be alert while walking, if possible don’t walk alone, and always report suspicious behavior to the police.

If anyone has any information that would help solve these crimes they are being asked to contact the Portland Police Department at (207) 874-8575.

portland-crime-2018

The Thinning Blue Line: A police shortage in Maine could soon get a lot worse (or is that better?)

Many departments have multiple positions open, but supervisors are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill them. So what happens when a large number of veteran officers retire?

Maine is no exception.

Many police departments, statewide, have multiple positions open, but supervisors are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill them.

Even more troubling, what those numbers look like moving forward, when a large number of veteran officers can retire.

Helping people. As cliche as it might sound it’s the No. 1 reason many police officers put on the badge.

A former high school English teacher, Tyler Plourde is now a trooper with the Maine State Police. “I wanted to have an impact on my community being able to help people”.

Officer Colin Gordan is a Falmouth police officer. “People ultimately get into to police work to help people, preserve order. As corny and cheesy as that sounds it’s true.”

What’s also true is there are fewer and fewer people willing to do the job. Many departments in Maine are down two, five, even 13 police officers.

Lt. John Kilbride, a 20-year veteran of the Falmouth Police Department, says that’s an incredible strain for a department. He says, “it’s nerve-wracking, you can’t just pluck a police officer off a tree.”

There are a lot of reasons for the police shortage.

  • Low pay, when compared to the high risks of the job
  • The negative attitude some people have toward police
  • A difficult and lengthy hiring process
  • Young people entering the workforce who are making a balance between work and life a top priority (something that any cop will tell you is not easy)

Maine State Police Lt. David Tripp says while his agency has been successful shoring up their vacancy rate, he admits being down troopers can cause a strain. “We are pushing some would say beyond our capacity with the services we’re providing.”

It’s a problem that could get a lot worse.

The Maine State Police currently has 341 officers. In two years, 15 percent will be eligible to retire. That’s 51 state troopers.

There are 161 Portland police officers. Over the course of the next five years, more than 25 percent are or will be eligible for retirement. That’s more than 44 officers.

The Maine Warden Service is facing similar issues. There are 125 game wardens. Today, 23 percent can retire. That’s more than 40.

Even smaller agencies are not immune.

The South Portland Police Department has 55 officers. Right now, 26 percent can retire. That’s 14 police officers.

Lt. Tripp says, “so when we look at that number that could be fairly high, 51 potentially retiring, that does cause us some concern”.

Those numbers are forcing departments to be more flexible and take a closer look at how they’re recruiting. Some are using social media and incentives or signing bonuses to attract candidates.

But finding interested candidates isn’t the only challenge, so is finding qualified ones.

Lt. John Kilbride says, “I will go without before I put forth someone I’m not comfortable with.”

When a department is down officers, it’s forced to play defense—prioritizing calls as well as cases.

That can not only impact communities, it can place a bigger burden on the rank and file.

“You start putting stressors on really good people and they start evaluating whether they want to stick around, it’s a sinking ship. You’ve hit the iceberg,” says Lt. Kilbride.

NEWS CENTER Maine spoke with officers from agencies across the state, who did not want to go on camera. They told us “a lot of times it’s like swimming upstream” … “investigations don’t get the attention they deserve, because they’re not enough officers” … “everyone loves to take video of you hoping you screw up” and “a lot of people don’t understand our training or why we do the things we do.”

Joe Loughlin, former deputy chief of the Portland Police Department and a national law enforcement consultant, says the stress on law enforcement officers today is enormous.

Loughlin says, “for years we’ve been saying we can do less with more, well that doesn’t work anymore, you need people”.

“These are tough days for this profession and tough days for the citizens because in the end, it’s the good citizens who suffer,” says Loughlin.

Loughlin, as well as those still in law enforcement, says they’re confident that, while it won’t happen right away, this shortage will pass and ultimately enough people will answer the call to protect and serve.

Lt. Tripp says, “I’ve had citizens say to me why would you do this job? Why would you want to do a job with everything going on today? Police officers being shot at or shot. Why would you do it? For me personally, if it’s not us, then who is it?”