HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Police Department has looked to one of its own in the search for a new detective.
Steve Nason, a nine-year veteran of the police force, was one of two candidates considered for the vacant post, according to Houlton Police Chief Joe McKenna. A three-member board, including Capt. Dan Pelletier of the HPD and Chief Deputy Shawn Gillen and Detective Pete Johnson of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, reviewed the applicants.
“There were 17 questions, with some involving knowledge of statutes and others pertaining to scenarios to get a feel for how they would act out in the field,” Chief McKenna said. “I looked at personnel files, education, experience and gave a point system. At the end of the day, Steve was the clear choice.”
Nason said the detective position was something he had been interested in for some time, so when the opportunity arose he was eager to apply. He replaces Stewart Kennedy as Houlton’s newest detective. Kennedy was promoted to detective in November 2013, replacing Kris Calaman, who served in that capacity for about two-and-a-half years. Prior to that, Carolyn Crandall served as detective for the town for 21 years before retiring.
Nason also served as the department’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer for five years. As the detective, Nason said his job would have a greater focus on investigating more serious crimes, such as child abuse cases.
“Steve doesn’t give up,” McKenna said. “He doesn’t know how to take a report and just walk away like some folks. Just in the short time I have been here, I have seen him take a simple shoplifting case and see it turn in to a big meth case. His tenacity is to not give up.”
Nason’s hiring fills a void that has been in the department since Kennedy left the position in November of last year. McKenna said things like sexual offender program were put on hold with no detective in the department.
In his new position, Nason will be the lead investigator for the bulk of the department’s cases and will assist other officers with their cases.
“I’m looking forward to doing the more in-depth investigations,” Nason said. “After nine years as a patrolman, I am ready for a new challenge.”