Two new police cruisers have left Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett with a dilemma. Neither of the new Ford and Dodge models has enough space to mount the cases which hold rifles with 16-inch barrels. Brackett sought Lt. Brendan Kane’s advice. Kane proposed trading the rifles with 16-inch long barrels for 11-inch models. Brackett told county commissioners Oct. 20, he planned on replacing the department’s rifle stock in a “piecemeal” fashion. But the problem caused by the inability to mount the rifle cases caused him to prefer a sooner rather than later approach.
Brackett supports Kane’s recommendation to trade the current 21 rifles with 16-inch barrels for 25 smaller, 11-inch barrel rifles. Under Kane’s proposal, the county would buy 25 new, shorter barreled rifles for $19,000. The department would trade in the current 21 rifles with 16-inch barrels and receive $8,898 in return. The county would need another $10,210 to buy the new rifles. Brackett explained to the commissioners that even with a sheriff’s department budget slightly over $3 million, there isn’t enough money this year for the proposal. “I’m not asking for a decision now, and I’m not saying $10,000 isn’t a lot of money,” Brackett said. “I believe this, in the long run, is the cheapest alternative and I’m asking you to think about it.”
In other action, commissioners sought Brackett’s opinion on buying another cruiser. On Aug. 28, Brackett was involved in a two-vehicle accident in Newcastle near Mike’s Place. Brackett said he was “rear-ended” while stopped on U.S. Route 1. In September, commissioners authorized Brackett to seek bids for replacing the totaled vehicle. Three Maine dealerships responded with five bids. Newcastle Chrysler, Darling’s Ford of Bangor and Quirk Ford of Augusta were the bidders. Brackett recommended commissioners accept Newcastle Chrysler’s bid, a 2021 Dodge Durango with four-wheel drive, for $28,263. Newcastle Chrysler was the low bidder.
Chief Deputy Rand Maker reported about the recent alternative sentence program at the WAVUS camp in Jefferson. Twenty-six inmates participated in the program which includes community service and counseling. Due to the ongoing pandemic, staff and participants were tested before and after for COVID-19. “I think everybody appreciated being tested to make sure they left the program the same way they entered it,” he said.
Maker believes as many as 40 inmates could safely participate in future programs. He will provide a more detailed report at a future meeting.