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Gillen to run for County sheriff

HOULTON, Maine — A chief deputy at the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office has announced that he is running for sheriff of the agency.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Shawn D. Gillen, 47, of Blaine announced Monday that he is running for sheriff. Gillen, a 24-year veteran of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, has served as Sheriff Darrell Crandall’s second in command for the last three years.

MORE:  County sheriff announces he will not seek second term

Sheriff Crandall has decided to retire this year and will not seek another term.

Chief Deputy Shawn Gillen of Blaine announced on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 that he is running for sheriff of Aroostook County this November. Sheriff Darrell Crandall is retiring. (Courtesy of Shawn Gillen)

Gillen, a graduate of Central Aroostook High School in Mars Hill, is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard and has served on his local school board for 16 years.

He joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994, first working as a corrections officer in the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton and then as a deputy sheriff assigned to inmate transportation. He began patrolling The County In 1997, before joining the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in 2001. In January 2015, he was tapped to be the chief deputy sheriff, overseeing all day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office.

“Of my nearly 24 years with the Sheriff’s Office, I have more than 11 years of leadership experience in law enforcement and corrections; three years of which is in senior leadership as chief deputy sheriff,” he said. “While the Office of Sheriff is an elected position, for which nearly any police officer or corrections officer can legally become a candidate, I fully understand what this job really entails. The Sheriff annually prepares and manages two budgets totaling more than $5 million and leads a staff of more than 60 employees.

“In 2017, the dispatch center fielded more than 12,000 calls for service, the inmate transportation unit moved 2,000 inmates over 100,000 miles, the civil process unit served 5,000 civil documents and our deputy sheriffs responded to nearly 8,000 calls for service throughout a county that spans close to 7,000 square miles,” he continued. “There are a lot of moving parts here, and an effective Sheriff must be an experienced leader with a stable work ethic, who is fiscally responsible and has the ability to juggle a lot at once.

Gillen said that he was the candidate for voters to elect if they wanted an experienced candidate in November.

“We have accomplished much in the last three years, to include increasing our patrol presence, improving our jail inspection scores and crime clearance rate, increasing our jail capacity and increasing training for crisis intervention.” he continued “We have done it all while spending over $200,000 less each year than what was approved for budgets.”

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