The Star-Herald

Troop F holds biannual inspection

HOULTON, Maine — Officials from the Maine State Police were in Houlton Thursday to perform an inspection of the Troop F division.

Col. Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police, and Lt. Col. John Cote were among those on-hand to perform a review of the Houlton-based state police unit.

“Every other year, we inspect all of the units for a couple of reasons,” Col. Williams said. “No. 1, it is good to get out and meet the troops. Working in Augusta you are doing political things and don’t have the opportunity to get out and meet the people that work for you.”

He added the inspection also provided an opportunity for each unit to perform a self-evaluation of equipment and vehicles, to ensure everything is in working order.

“As you can tell, they (Troop F) are a pretty squared away group up here,” he added.

Following the inspection, a troop meeting was held to discuss any issues troopers may have as well as the vision of where the Maine State Police is going.

“The vision right now is to continue doing what we are doing because there are not enough resources to change our mission,” Col. Williams said. “There is a lot of demand for law enforcement that wasn’t there a number of years ago.”

He said a prime example of this shift was when he had to take two detectives away from the child abuse department and place them in the smartphone division to investigate cyber crimes.

“Every major crime now involves some type of electrical appliance,” he said. “We have two people that do this [department] full time and could honestly use three more. We struggle to balance our resources like everybody.”

Troop F is one of eight Maine State Police divisions in the state and is responsible for police coverage for all of Aroostook County, as well as northern parts of Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset counties. Aroostook County alone has 9,128 square miles and almost 3,000 miles of public roads and another 5,000 miles of logging roads that are patrolled by troopers in the Troop F division.

Troop F also has 49 miles of interstate and aircraft details help reduce the amount of speeders. The troop is led by Lt. Brian Harris and has three sergeants and 18 troopers.

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