PIPD welcomes new officer in time for Christmas

16 years ago
    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – What do Ireland and Presque Isle have in common? One thing may be potatoes, but for the Presque Isle Police Department it’s the newest officer to join the force.

    Chris Hayes was hired Sept. 17, taking the position left vacant by the departure of Officer Craig Holder.
A native of Ireland, Hayes has been in the United States since 1994.
“I am from Galway, Ireland. I moved to the Boston area in 1994 because of the job opportunities. At that time in Ireland, employment was scarce,” explained Hayes.
Hayes said his parents, Frank and Margaret, were “very supportive.”
“They were supportive of my move to America and plan on making their first visit to Aroostook County in the spring,” he said. “My mother had been applying for a green card for years for me and my name was finally picked in a lottery, along with four or five others in my neighborhood. We all decided to make the United States our home – myself and another were the only ones who decided to make America our permanent home.”
Along with more job prospects, Hayes found love in Boston, the city where he met his wife.
“I met my wife, Jessica, in Boston. After our daughter, Mackenzie, was born in 2003, we began discussing moving to Presque Isle,” said Hayes, noting his wife had grown up here and still has family in the area.
“We wanted Mackenzie to be raised around family and in a community like those in northern Maine instead of in Boston. We moved here in the fall of 2003,” said Hayes.
After arriving in the County, Hayes found work at Ruby Tuesday.
“Many people may recognize me from Ruby Tuesday. I worked there from 2003 until I got hired as a police officer at the PIPD in September,” said Hayes, adding he’d actually waited on Chief Naldo Gagnon on several occasions.
As a kid in Galway, Hayes said he always had an interest in law enforcement.
“I never had the opportunity to pursue law enforcement until the chance came in 2005. I was formerly a police officer in Ashland from 2006 until 2007. It was there I gained plenty of experience and training from my former chief, Cyr Martin. I attended the 100 hours course at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in May 2006 and have attended numerous training seminars,” said Hayes.
After joining the force, Hayes was enrolled in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the academy. He’s scheduled to graduate Dec. 14.
“I’m currently enrolled at the academy, taking part in an 18-week training program for officers,” said Hayes.
The academy is extremely challenging, but interesting and educational, said Hayes.
“It will be great to graduate after all the hard work and challenges,” Hayes said.
Hayes is looking forward to being a part of the local force.
“The PIPD has a wonderful reputation all over the state of Maine. The department prides itself on family and community values. The training and opportunities for advancement are plentiful,” said Hayes, adding, “the area of expertise that interests me is that of drug recognition expert, as well as polygraph examiner.”
Gagnon said he’s pleased to welcome Hayes to the ranks.
“We’re excited to have Chris coming to work and being onboard as a full-time officer,” said Gagnon. “He’ll make a great addition to the department.”
Hayes is looking forward to bringing balance to the department.
“What I can contribute to the PIPD is a sense of balance. For far too long the scales have been tipped by Englishman Det. Bill Scull, and I believe the addition of an Irishman will even it out again,” said Hayes, with a laugh. “In all seriousness, I know that I can learn a great deal from all levels of law enforcement at the PIPD. I look forward to finishing the academy, coming home to Presque Isle and getting back to work – just in time for Christmas.”