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Rangeley Police Department

Message from the Chief

 
On August 25, 2008, Dennis M. Leahy was sworn in as Chief of Police of the Rangeley, Maine Police Department. He came here after serving for 30 years with the Philadelphia (Pa.) Police Department, which consists of over 7,000 sworn members and is the fifth largest police department in the nation. During his career with the Philadelphia Police Department, he worked in patrol, special patrol, investigative and tactical divisions. He was officially cited 36 times by the Philadelphia Police Department and received commendations for Merit, Bravery and the highest award - Valor. When he left the department, he had attained the rank of Lieutenant. As Lieutenant, he was assigned to the Patrol Bureau, in addition to his other assignments, he commanded an elite squad of Tactical and Narcotics Officers.

Since serving as Chief of the Rangeley Police Department, Chief Leahy has acquired and implemented new technologies such as: GPS use for property crimes, DNA outsourcing, Digital Cameras for Crime Scene Investigation, patrol officers armed with Tasers and, MDT computers, as well as Watch Guard Digital Cruiser Cams in all marked patrol vehicles.

Chief Leahy has increased training requirements for the officers. Several officers have attended numerous training courses ranging from identity theft to interviews and interrogations, crime scene investigations, collecting and preserving evidence and homicide investigations.

In reaction to an upturn in juvenile crime, Chief Leahy has concentrated on truancy and curfew violations. Recognizing that truancy is an early warning sign for the potential of juvenile delinquency, Chief Leahy has instituted a police policy of stopping and investigating school age juveniles that are seen in town during school hours. This program has greatly alleviated daytime burglaries in the town. Investigating juveniles out late at night is also helping with deterring juvenile crimes.

By instituting a new "Park and Walk" program, each officer must dedicate a portion of their tour of duty to parking the marked cruiser in a conspicuous location in the business section of town and walking a foot beat. This enables the officer to be more visible, more accessible to the public during business hours and more vigilant to commercial burglaries during the evening and overnight hours.

Further extending the deterrence philosophy by attacking the symptoms that create the conditions for crime to flourish, "Quality of Life Crime Enforcement" is now a part of the Police Department's philosophy. Using the "Broken Windows" theory, which states, in brief, that minor disorders lead to more serious crimes, the police department can not only focus on the crime issues but on the underlying problems: juvenile misbehavior, drug activity, nuisance properties and businesses.

 

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