OXFORD — The Board of Selectmen got a close up view of its Police Department Thursday night when Police Chief Jon Tibbetts demonstarted some of the department’s acitivities and equipment, including its Taser.
The demonstration and subsequent discussion was part of a effort by Town Manager Butch Asselin to bring department heads before the board to familiarize them more with department activities.
Tibbetts, who along with his Lieutenant Mike Ward have more than 60 years of experience between them, talked about the departments overall long-time years of service by many of its officers, the officers continuing education efforts both in obtaining advance education or educating others, and the 25th year of the DARE program. He also spoke about the three new body cameras that the department recently acquired.
Tibbets told the Advertiser Democrat on Friday that DARE program has been a success in the Oxford Hills School District.
“I think it’s an effective program,” Tibbetts said. The program, runs once a week classes for a 10-week period, in the fifth-grade, and involves a number of areas including building self esteem, conflict resolution and others. Originally developed as an anti-drug program, the nationwide program was revamped about ten years ago to expand into other areas. Two classes are still aimed at educating students about the harmful effects of drugs, he said.
“Even if we can just save one student it’s worth it,” he said of the program’s benefits.
Tibbetts said the biggest thing to come out of the program is the availability of a school resource officer in the schools.
“It’s phenomenal to have officer in school now. It’s a huge benefit,” he said, noting the camaraderie developed between the officer and students.
In other news, Selectmen Chairman Peter Laverdiere announced that he will not seek re-election for the board at the June Annual Town Election after five years of service. Laverdiere thanked the town for its support.
The board also heard a report from Highway Department Foreman Mark Fox who said the department is currently scraping roads and fixing pot holes.
In other business, the board voted to:
- suspend the pay raise policy for this year and give the employees a 2 percent cost of living increase while the Town Manager develops a new pay raise plan.
- re-appoint John Palmer to the Appeals Board for a three-year term from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.
- accept the grant of $2,244 from the Bureau of Highway Safety for municipal speed enforcement.
- table a $500. bid from Mark Fox for the Police Department’s Jeep Patriot and a $2,000 bid from Taylor Moore for an old town fire engine.
- accept an $8,577.79 grant from Highway Safety for Distracted Driving.