Presque Isle Police Department works to prevent crime – Part IV

Chief Naldo Gagnon Special to the Star-Herald, Special to The County
17 years ago

Part IV  in an ongoing series by the Presque Isle Police Department – What the PIPD is doing to prevent crime and how you as citizens of the community can help.

Officers attend a variety of health fairs each year where they offer safety tips to individuals that attend and hand out safety and informational brochures. The Crime Prevention Officer offers inspections of businesses and homes and gives advice and tips on how to make their establishments safer. When thinking of an alarm system for your business we would prefer that alarm be silent. The Crime Prevention Officer also ensures that the department is kept up to date on what businesses are in town and who the contact people are in case of an emergency. If you would like any of these services or have changes to your contact list, please give us a call.
One great community policing effort that has worked quite well for the department has been the Gold Coin program.  The department started the Gold Coin program in an effort to get citizens involved in their community and in an effort to instill confidence, trust and a working relationship between officers of the department and the community. Gold coins are handed out to citizens who take the extra time and effort to be involved in their community. Each officer carries a coin that they may give out as a token of appreciation to people who may: report a drunk driver, render aid at an accident scene, assist with highly sensitive incidents, helps direct traffic or gives the department useful tips about crimes and other things.     Many departments around the state are now carrying such coins. The coins are specific to each department and vary in design to represent individual departments. Presque Isle’s coin is the size of a silver dollar but solid gold in color. The front side of the coin bears the department’s patch in the center encircled by attributes of our department: pride, dedication, integrity, duty, honor and bravery. The other side of the coin shows our badge in the center with the words ‘Presque Isle Police Department’ around the outer edge. Members of the Presque Isle Police     Department are very proud of the coin program for what it represents about us and from us toward the community. When an officer gives out a coin, he is issued a replacement for the next citizen who may take the initiative to come forward and offer assistance. The program has been quite successful and has been a lot of fun for the officers involved. It gives each officer a chance to participate in something that is positive rather than always responding to something that is negative. The Gold Coin project was such a success early on, that we also ordered lapel pins the shape and color of our department’s patch and one that is in the shape of our badge. These are being handed out as well as the gold coins, especially to community members who have gotten involved in more than one incident.
Several officers participate with Special Olympics of Maine activities throughout the year, including the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Officers also attend other Special Olympic events throughout the state such as Winter Games in Sugarloaf and Summer Games at the University of Maine at Orono. Officers also participate in all Aroostook County Special Olympic events. The athletes love to see officers there as they hand out the medals to participants at each event.