MacDonald, 45, of Buckfield, has recently join the force as a reserve officer which means he will fill in when needed.
MacDonald works full time in construction as a transfer specialist.
“I want to help people,” he says of his mid-life entry into law enforcement. Soft-spoken he says he likes people. “It’s not about the money,” he adds. Which is good, as he says he makes far more in construction.
But for a while, he says, he has thought about getting into law enforcement, originally as a game warden. Then he got laid off and the opportunity presented itself to focus on law enforcement full time. So he did.
He covered the cost of the two-week Criminal Justice Academy training, the 40-hours of online learning and is now completing the 80 hours of mandated on-the-job training.
“That’s the minimum requirement,” he explains, for on-the-job, but “Oxford and Norway … their programs far surpass that. They have extensive FTO programs.”
On-the-job training requires he initially be paired with a Field Training Officer or FTO. In Oxford he worked with Officer Alan Coffin and in Norway with Officer Jim Ventresca.
MacDonald is father of three who range in age from 10 months to 18 years of age. He loves the outdoors including hunting, fishing and camping. He even enjoys processing firewood he says.
He recently has been called back to his full time job from the layoff which will mean completing his training may take a bit longer. All he has left, he says, is night shift training.
And writing reports … and more reports … and more reports.
“Learning report writing has been the most difficult,” he laughs. “I had to learn a whole new language!”
He says if there was a full-time opening he would happily leave the better paying construction industry for law enforcement. But, he says, he can’t afford to leave for part-time police work because he needs insurance.
In the meantime, he patrols the streets of Norway … when needed.